One Step Off the Grid

One Step Off the Grid - SENEC sales during COVID19


Home battery storage installations and inquiries boosted by Covid, says SENEC

By Sophie Vorrath for One Step Off the Grid


Consumer interest in home battery storage has increased in Australia during the global Coronavirus pandemic, according the head of SENECc in Australia, as people become much more aware of the benefits of taking it up.


Patrick Duignan, the general manager of the Australian arm of German-based energy storage company, Senec, said a larger percentage of customer inquiries about home battery storage was converting into sales for the company since Covid-19 had hit.


The company, while guarded about actual sales numbers, said it had seen growth of 150% from Jan-April 2020, including of its relatively newly launched, fully-integrated storage system, the SENEC.Home V3 Hybrid.


As One Step Off The Grid reported, the V3 was launched in Australia at the 2019 All-Energy conference in Melbourne last October, offering a 4.5kWh/9kWh battery with a built-in hybrid inverter that promises solar homes up to 90 per cent electricity self-sufficiency and full back-up – and solar charging – in the case of a grid power outage.


SENEC – which is one of the largest storage brands in Germany and 100 per cent owned by one of that country’s biggest gen-tailers, EnBW – has been chipping away at the Australian market for the last couple of years, starting with a base in Western Australia.


Earlier this year, the company expanded its presence with the addition of a  Sydney office, and the appointment of Duignan, who has been in the Australian solar industry for more than 10 years with Hanwha Q Cells Australia and SMA Technology.


In an interview with One Step last week, Duignan said his focus at Senec was on educating the market on the company and what products it had to offer, as well as building up local partnerships.


Senec, says Duignan, offers a strong company with a long-term vision in the market, that has successfully installed tens of thousands of home batteries in Europe. It’s V3 battery, he adds, offers an intelligent, fully integrated storage system.


“You’re getting one product, so you have one company to come back to for your warranty. We really support our customers on the market very strongly on the warranty side, as well,” he said.

“A lot of work been done to connect with partners in the market and this is starting to increase storage sales, including through state schemes like the NSW empowering homes program.”

Duignan says he believes Australia’s home battery market is growing steadily, and – while it’s currently reliant on some public policy – is getting to the point where, in the next 12-18 months, the commercial viability of batteries will move towards standing on its own.

And while the rooftop solar industry has suffered in Australia, alongside so many others, due to the impact of Covid-19, the forced slowdown hasn’t been all bad for battery storage.

“Everyone is affected – this second wave that’s coming is not good for any industry and I think in the solar market we’ve seen the effects of it,” he said.

“But people have had time to do more research and take a step back and look at solar and storage, so people have become more educated. So we’re getting more people who are genuinely interested in taking up [home battery] storage.

“People are much more aware of the benefits of taking it up – and that’s been good. But really the impact on the market, the impact on solar installers and retailers, the impact on their companies has been significant… Many are just managing their way through.”