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ZEN Energy installed a complete solar and energy storage solution at Barbara’s Woodville North home in the north-western suburbs of Adelaide. Combining a 5.4kW ZEN Premium solar solution with an 8kWh ZEN sonnen storage solution and an optional blackout power capability, the investment is helping Barbara significantly reduce her electricity bills, become more environmentally friendly and gain control of her energy future.

About the Project

Recently retired, Barbara lives in her newly built home in Woodville North to the north-west of the Adelaide CBD. After subdividing her old property to build two new homes, Barbara saw her move to a new home as the perfect opportunity to become largely energy self-sufficient and reduce her impact on the environment by installing solar and energy storage.

Barbara has always been quite conservative with her electricity use. And since she has moved into retirement, her energy usage habits have shifted mainly to during the day, which is a perfect match for solar. Combining these habits with energy storage as well means that her smaller night-time energy use is often almost completely covered by her own solar energy stored in her batteries.

Barbara enjoys the benefits that her complete solar and storage solution from ZEN provides, and in particular the comfort that she is using electricity that she has generated herself and the bill savings that come with it.

“I’m actually using my power during the day. And I’m really happy with the bills I’m getting at the moment.”

Barbara says she would have installed solar and storage sooner if it wasn’t for her plans to knock down and rebuild. Once her new home was completed and she was settled, there was nothing stopping her in the move to solar and energy storage. Somewhat cheekily, she even wanted to make sure she went one better than her family and nearby friends with her ZEN Energy solution.

“A lot of people that I know around here and relatives have got solar panels.  I’m the only that has actually gone solar and storage.”

Installing the Project

When choosing her solar and storage provider, Barbara spoke to ZEN and one other company. When it came time to decide on who to trust for her solar and storage needs, ZEN’s combination of excellent Australian-based customer service and competitive pricing proved to be the winning formula.

“I looked at one other company, and the quotes were very, very similar, but I actually liked dealing with ZEN. I didn’t quite like the consultant from the other company, he just put me off. And I actually expected the system to be more expensive, so I’m really happy with what I paid.”

As part of the process that ZEN follows for every potential customer, Barbara’s expert residential energy consultant conducted a detailed review of her home’s energy needs to understand how and when she used electricity. By analysing Barbara’s recent energy bills and getting Barbara to explain what sort of appliances she uses and when she uses them, ZEN could perform detailed calculations to recommend both the best type and size of solar and storage solution to match her needs.

Barbara achieving 87% grid-independence with her ZEN sonnen battery

ZEN’s recommendation of a 5.4kW ZEN Premium solar solution and an 8kWh ZEN sonnen storage solution is already paying dividends for Barbara and showing how well it is matched to her energy needs.

In the middle of just the first Adelaide winter since installation, Barbara’s online monitoring was showing her home to be 87% self-sufficient, meaning she was largely grid independent and only needed to buy 13% of her electricity needs from her energy retailer.

And by including an optional blackout power capability to her system (available on single phase ZEN sonnen solutions), Barbara also has the comfort of knowing she can run essential loads like her fridge, lights, and some powerpoints when the next blackout occurs.

Project Outcomes

Thanks to her ZEN Premium solar and ZEN sonnen storage solution, Barbara is achieving her goals of being largely self-sufficient, reducing her energy bills, and doing her part for the environment.

What Barbara likes most about her ZEN sonnen solution is the peace of mind of having blackout power and the system’s modular design, meaning she can add more batteries if her energy consumption ever increases.

“I’ve got the blackout power option on my unit, so I know that the fridge will continue operating, I’ve still got hot water, and I will also have the lights.”

Another intelligent feature of the ZEN sonnen solution is the smartphone application direct from sonnen, which allows Barbara to visualise how her system is performing in a user-friendly and engaging way.

“I look at the app on the phone. I look at it on a daily basis and I actually like seeing what I feed back into the grid.”

On a final note, Barbara had this to say for anyone considering solar and energy storage.

“You’re going to save money, you’re helping the environment, and it’s actually not that expensive to install really. It’s a one-off outlay then it starts to pay itself back. I’d highly recommend ZEN.”

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