The Sheriff family from The Hills Shire, NSW, have learnt how they can maximise their investment in a sonnenBatterie through data and insights. Their home battery storage was able to provide the family of 2 with energy independence, and also change their energy usage behaviour through monitoring their energy patterns in real-time.

The Sheriff family has an 8kWh sonnenBatterie Eco that was installed to complement their family home’s 5.7kWp rooftop solar system in 2018. They uses the sonnen app to monitor how much energy has been produced, stored, consumed and how much excess energy is exported to the grid.

“The sonnen app gives me a good view of how much energy is being produced and what gets stored in my sonnenBatterie. This data helps me evaluate what chores I might do in my house. I can run a load of washing and use the vacuum cleaner in the morning to take advantage of the excess energy stored before the sun rises. Instead of exporting any unused solar energy back to the grid, I’ve chosen to use this to power up my dishwasher, pool pump, clothes dryer and even ironing,” Mr Sheriff said.

Having built his family home back in 2008, they installed a 10kW centrally ducted heating and cooling system that serves their five-bedroom home. The heating and cooling system is programmed to operate in zones, to optimise energy efficiency by heating or cooling areas where the majority of occupants will reside for the day.

During winter, the heating system has been automatically timed to  run between 5:30 am to 7 am as the Sheriff household prepares to head for work. In the evening, the heater runs from 4:30 pm to 7 pm and this is programmed to be switched on again from 10 pm to 11:30 pm as the family retires for the night.

“For homeowners who think the upfront investment may seem to be high, think about all the energy you will get and not having to deal with bill shocks anymore.”

The sonnen app provides the family with a real-time snapshot of the daily production and consumption of energy in their household and the data can by viewed by months and years. These insights has made them more energy aware. changing their household energy consumption behaviours to adapt to their solar generation and battery storage. The programming of their households’ heating and cooling system to run at specific times all year is an example of a significant behavioural shift.

Mr Sheriff said, “We need to look at energy as a service and to optimise our energy consumption towards maximising the production of our rooftop solar system and to optimise what we can draw from our sonnenBatterie during peak hours.”

“With the sonnen app, we’ve become fairly wise with our energy usage. That’s because we shouldn’t be treating energy as a free commodity. There will be cloudy or wet days when our rooftop solar system will produce less energy and we would need to rely on grid electricity.”

Mr Sheriff is philosophical when it comes to energy usage. He said, “We should be self-sufficient and self-reliant as far as possible when it comes to energy consumption. This is why I believe home batteries are the future. For homeowners who think the upfront investment may seem to be high, think about all the free energy you will get and not having to deal with bill shocks anymore.”