For half the year, the Anzi family are energy independent thanks to their solar and heat pump

by Fronius - 7 September 2023
Decoupling themselves from fossil fuels as much as possible was a key aim for the Anzi family when they thought about their own house. When Ralf and Antje Anzi finally decided to build their own home in Bavaria, they took solar PV into account by ensuring the optimal orientation and maximising the useable surface of the rooftop.
The Anzi family are energy independent for at least 6 months per year.

Thinking ahead, the family installed a fairly large rooftop system of 23.76 kW combined with 22 kWh of battery storage. The system meets nearly 100% of their electricity needs for at least half of the year, and significantly reduces their energy bill in the winter months. When interviewed in September 2022, Ralf mentioned they did not have to rely on externally produced electricity for the past 6 months.

“We generate the electricity we need for the house and even the electric cars ourselves, or we feed the electricity we generate into the grid. Since March 2022 – which means for a good six months – we haven't had to purchase any energy from external sources.”

In addition to the large PV system, the family relies on electricity for transportation. Ralf Anzi is convinced: “If you assume an average of 20,000 km driven per year, our fuel costs last year would have been about €5,000. With electric mobility, we currently pay only about €350 for the same number of kilometers, and we are also doing our part to reduce carbon emissions.” 

The PV system is set to charge the vehicle when there is excess solar power. However, when Ralf and Antje would like to ensure a charged vehicle at a certain time, the “Next Trip” mode can be used to draw additional power from the grid if needed. 

Due to the family’s large, well-oriented PV installation, they generate excess power which can be used for water heating. Using a smart energy management system from Austrian inverter manufacturer Fronius, the amount of power going towards water heating can be automatically regulated. A 300-liter water tank is sufficient to meet the hot water requirements during the evening, without needing to access the battery storage.

Ralf and Antje are happy to do their part in ensuring a more sustainable future for their son, Fabio. They realise the importance of their investment, as well as the position of luxury they are in: “There should be supportive schemes, which enable young families who just built a house to invest in a solar system. In many cases the initial investment is too high even if they know it would save a lot of money over the years.” 

Read more about this family and others, in our new paper Solar Powers Heat and EVs: Case Studies.