Electric car at the EnBW charging point
Foto von Martin Jendrischik

Martin Jendrischik

From a sceptic to an energy transition evangelist

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One man’s journey towards electricity independence

Ten years ago, when Sebastian Grunwald bought a semi-detached house in Aglasterhausen, a small town in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, installing a photovoltaic system and an energy storage system was out of the question. “It definitely wasn’t worth the expense back then, so I didn’t explore it further,” recalls Grunwald, who is married and has one daughter. At that time, he was sceptical about the energy transition.

That only changed in 2020, when he started to explore options for renovating his roof. Grunwald came into contact with Stefan Emmerich via an online portal called aroundhome. Emmerich is the managing director of SENEC specialist partner SolWig Smart Solar Solutions and offered him a photovoltaic system (22 modules, 8.52 kWp) as well as the SENEC.Home V3 storage system with capacity of 5 kWh. “Above all, though, it was the SENEC.Cloud tariffs that caught my eye,” said Grunwald. He was also impressed with the ten-year 100% capacity guarantee that SENEC provides for its battery storage system.

Grunwald soon opted for solutions from the SENEC 360° ecosystem, despite offers from other storage system providers. “The system has been up and running since March – and I’ve been a SENEC electricity and cloud customer since August,” he says. He is also in close contact with his specialist partner, SolWig. Stefan Emmerich and his Dortmund-based team operate across Germany, installing photovoltaic systems, energy storage systems and EV chargers. “Cost-effectiveness, independence and sustainability were decisive factors – and in my view, all three go hand-in-hand in the SENEC.360 complete solution.”

SENEC customer with his electric car

Grunwald works for a local taxi company. Since his conversion to become a true evangelist for the energy transition, he has also convinced others to follow his example. “My employer has 40 taxis – and, alongisde a photovoltaic system, they have now ordered their first two electric cars,” says Grunwald.

Speaking of e-mobility: Grunwald recently went a step further in the electrification of his daily life by purchasing a Hyundai Ioniq – a pure-electric car. “Driving an electric car is obviously an adjustment, especially when driving abroad, as you have to take the time to prepare,” he explains. “In Germany, however, I have total faith [in e-mobility] because the HyperNetz from EnBW is excellent for fast charging.” SENEC’s parent company has now created a network of over 200,000 charging points across Europe.

Electric car at the EnBW charging point

Since Grunwald downloaded the SENEC.App and installed the SENEC.Home display in the basement utility room of his semi-detached home, his family’s relationship with energy has changed. “My wife laughed at me to begin with – but now she’s always checking the app to see whether our electricity supply is independent, or how much electricity we’re producing.”

This transparency has also brought about a change in the family’s behaviour. They now put on the washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher when the sun is shining. “The sun shapes our daily routine,” says Grunwald. However, he sees these changes as an adjustment rather than having to forgo things.

In fact, Grunwald’s enthusiasm has grown so much that he now works with specialist partner SolWig in a commission-based partnership. “You get talking to like-minded people, especially at charging points – making it the perfect opportunity for a little marketing,” he says.

The example of Sebastian Grunwald from Baden-Württemberg shows the strong links that connect customers, specialist partners and SENEC as a manufacturer systematically developing its 360° solutions . It not only benefits end customers but ultimately improves the lives of every member of society by contributing to attainment of key climate goals. We look forward to meeting many more Sebastian Grunwalds as we drive forward the energy transition.