2020 has been a year that has had a significant economic impact on the lifestyles of many Australians. From job losses, financial uncertainty to mounting bills, it has been a financially challenging year for many households.

With COVID-19, working from home and staying indoors has become the new norm for many people. Remote working has given residents in many households more time they can spend together at home. However, this comes at a cost for many homes which are already experiencing financial difficulties during an economic downturn. More electricity has been consumed at home during COVID-19 with laptops, mobile chargers, virtual meetings to more meals being prepared at home driving up energy usage.

The ABC News has reported that the average household electricity bill in Australia have risen by an average of 15-20 percent during COVID. Many homeowners have experienced bill shock this winter and the Australian Energy Regulator estimates that the average debt households owe to their energy retailers came to more than $1,100 between March to October 2020. Even though many Australians are starting to return to work on rostered days, the cost that COVID-19 has added to their electricity bills will not go away anytime soon.

Rather than having to experience another bill shock as we head into Christmas, it’s time to think about how you can get energy savings and independence with a home battery.

Reduce your reliance on grid electricity with a home battery

Designed in Germany and manufactured in Elizabeth, South Australia, the sonnenBatterie hybrid is certified Australian Made. With a sonnenBatterie, you can store any unused solar generated by solar panels for use when it's most needed. Instead of relying solely on grid electricity, homeowners are free to use the energy they have generated anytime and use experience greater energy security by drawing on energy stored from your rooftop solar system.

sonnenBatterie owners can access two energy plans that will help keep their energy costs down. For a fixed monthly fee, sonnenFlat offers a guaranteed yearly home usage energy allowance that includes solar, storage and grid energy and no fixed network charges. Existing or new sonnenBatterie owners who are located in the National Electricity Market (NEM) can sign-up for sonnenConnect, a new energy plan and receive up to $41 per month for providing sonnen with access to their battery to stabilise the energy grid.

Don’t let your life standstill in a blackout

While Australians start to prepare for the Christmas festive season and soaring summer temperatures, we can expect more air conditioners to be turned on and a greater demand for grid electricity.

The same hot weather we will expect for summers could be intensified with a La Nina weather pattern descending in Australia this year that will bring floods and cyclones. These incidents will impact on the supply of grid electricity on towns or regions for extended periods of time.

Rather than being caught in the dark during a blackout, sonnen offers a unique feature available on the sonnenBatterie hybrid 9.53 called sonnenProtect. sonnenProtect allows households to power their essential loads to run a household appliance such as a refrigerator or lights for a few days even while the grid is down. Additional protection is also available through Black Start, a new feature that allows homeowners to recharge their batteries with energy produced by their solar panels without a grid connection.

As we head into Christmas, let’s bring greater certainty and independence to our lives by starting with the gift of clean and affordable energy. Households located in SA, VIC or NSW, can get access to grants or interest-free loans that will make new solar and home battery installations more affordable and accessible.