Customer stories: Making the switch to our Solar Storage tariff
By: Alexandra Dunsford-White
06 Nov 2020
In July this year, we launched an exclusive Solar Storage tariff to Shell Energy customers. This first-of-its-kind tariff is available to Shell Energy customers with home solar PV panels and a sonnenBatterie, and to all interested in getting these installed in their homes.
When our tariff is combined with PV and a world-class sonnenBatterie, customers become so-called ‘prosumers’ (which means you both consume and produce your own electricity). Using your own energy will help you to reduce your energy bill. On sunny days, your solar panels could be generating more solar energy than you’re able to consume at home, so the sonnenBatterie will store it for you to use later. If there is still more electricity coming from your panels, our new solar storage tariff lets you reap the rewards by collecting solar credits in summer to lower your energy bills by up to £150* in winter.
Our powerful PV, sonnenBatterie and Solar Storage tariff solution ensures that you’re decreasing your bills throughout the year, no matter the season, as well as helping to stabilise the grid network and contributing to driving the UK’s clean energy transition.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. We checked in with Shell Energy customers who’ve made the switch to our Solar Storage Tariff this year to hear their first-hand accounts of their experience, and how they’ve benefited from this move. Here are their stories.
The BarkersRobert Barker (67) and his wife Sally, both retired, from Sigglesthorne in Yorkshire, were the first Shell Energy customers to switch to our Solar Storage Tariff. They’ve lived in their four-bedroom detached house for the past 11 years, and their average monthly energy bills come to around £120 a month.
The Barkers decided to invest in solar PV panels a few years ago as they wanted to have more control of their costs during their retirement years, and because they were interested in making the most of the government’s 25 year Feed-in Tariff scheme. Their 3.52kWp system, includes panels on the south and west sides of their house.
Left: Robert and Sally with their sonnenBatterie, which was installed in their living room; Right: The Barker’s solar PV panels on the roof of their house in Sigglesthorne, Yorkshire.
Robert has a keen interest in renewable home generation technology, and how battery storage can help him maximise his PV system and complement his existing home set up. He’d researched Tesla, Powervault, Moixa and Puredrive battery storage options in the past, but was most intrigued by the superior features and possibilities for future development of the sonnenBatterie offering.
Robert told us “I did a fair amount of research which led me to the conclusion that sonnen is the most innovative and forward thinking provider out there, especially the sonnen Community collaboration that they have rolled out in several areas around the world.”
He completed the sonnen online survey to assess his eligibility for a sonnenBatterie install, which required details of his current solar PV system, photos of the proposed battery location, and information about existing equipment (such as distances for cabling). This was followed up by a Zoom video call from the sonnen approved installer to discuss his options in greater detail and provide him with a quote. The installation of Robert and Sally’s sonnenBatterie was completed in just one day, and they were then able to make the switch to the Shell Energy Solar Storage Tariff.
To date, the Barkers have already noticed the positive impact this switch has had on their energy bills - in September, their grid consumption was down year-on-year by approximately 200 kWh. The Barkers used 81.3% of the electricity they produced and stored during the month, and the remaining 18.7% was fed back into the grid. Being able to monitor their energy usage online and via the sonnen app, in real-time, and having greater control of their consumption, has also resulted in behaviour changes around their home.
Robert and Sally now alternate washing and baking times to make full use of the available energy stored in their sonneBatterie, and they’ve also made the decision to replace their light bulbs with more energy efficient LED variations to save even more. Since making the switch and installing their sonnenBatterie, they’ve also upgraded their solar inverter (which was eight years old) to a Solar-Edge to improve the performance of their PV panels and overall set up.
The combination of their PV panels, sonnenBatterie and our Solar Storage Tariff has also given the Barker family more peace of mind when it comes to their carbon footprint and overall impact on the planet. This was a big step for them towards their goal to reduce their reliance on gas, and instead only use electricity generated from renewable sources. The Barkers have since installed electric underfloor heating and an electric immersion heater, and they hope to replace their gas boiler soon to have fully electric heating, and plan to move away from cooking with gas too. And once this is all in place, Robert would also like to purchase a pure electric car one day.
In future, the Barkers hope to further maximise their storage capacity to eliminate their use of gas entirely. Robert said “I am hoping that, before long, there will be more energy tariffs available that will enable me to supplement my solar energy, allowing me to charge my battery at a lower off-peak rate and fully utilise its capacity in the winter months, in exchange for feeding back into the grid at peak times. When that is an option, I would certainly install more batteries and increase the capacity to its maximum 15kW.”
The Hominick familyMike Hominick (46), who works for Shell’s fuels business in the UK, made the switch to our Solar Storage tariff in October. He lives with his wife and two children in a detached house in Wokingham. Mike and his family have been looking for ways to reduce the family’s carbon footprint and overall household electricity consumption (which was costing them around £131 per month), and hopefully in the longer term, provide a good return on investment.
Our tariff, which allows you to make the most of solar PV and battery storage, seemed like a logical choice for Mike and his family. He was intrigued by the possibility of generating power during sunny weather and being able to use it in the evening and overnight, and he liked the idea of generating his own electricity to use at home while also feeding any surplus supply back into the grid.
In September this year, Mike was referred to Solar Centric (an installation company) via Shell Energy and sonnen to get his solar PV system installed together with a sonnenBatterie. After an initial assessment and consultation via Zoom, he had a 5kW system (10 solar panels) installed on the roof of his detached garage, in just one day. Following his PV installation, Mike completed an online survey from sonnen, and submitted all the information they needed via their handy online portal. After a quick technical inspection at his home, Mike was booked for his sonnenBatterie installation - which took one day to complete.
Left: Mike and his son with their new sonnenBatterie, which was installed in their garage; Right: The day of the Hominick family’s solar PV installation.
The installation of both their PV system and sonnenBatterie cost the Hominick family around £10,000 in total. Since making the move to the Solar Storage tariff, Mike and his family have already started making energy-conscious behaviour changes around their home, and are much more tuned into which appliances use the most energy and when it’s best to use them.
On sunny days, Mike and his family make sure to time their use of specific appliances, in the kitchen and around the house, to make use of as much of the electricity generated by their PV panels and stored in their sonnenBatterie as possible during the day. Mike enjoys the fact that, on sunny days, his new set up now allows him to charge up his sonnenBatterie, use the electricity that’s been stored, and then charge up again to have a full battery by sunset to use the following day.
He’s able to monitor his system in real-time, online and via the sonnen app, and enjoys checking on it throughout the day to see what different scenarios could look like - such as how much power is generated in varying weather conditions and times of day, and how the battery is draining as the family consumes power in different ways and at different times. He is also able to track how much they are generating, feeding into the grid and consuming, and all while understanding his net power position over time, in just a few clicks and all from his mobile phone.
After less than a month on our Solar Storage tariff (at the time of publishing), Mike and his family are looking forward to seeing a decrease in their energy bills in the coming months, and making the most of the solar credits they’ll receive in winter for the excess electricity they’ve fed into the grid.
Switch to our new Solar Storage tariff
Interested in making the switch to our exclusive Solar Storage tariff? Get in touch with us today. Find out everything you need to know about making the most of the year-round benefits of solar panels and battery storage with our first-of-its-kind tariff.