Mini solar systems for the balcony are a good way to save on electricity costs. A current study shows when they become worthwhile.
It is not just the high electricity prices that have prompted many households to buy a photovoltaic system for their balcony. Another advantage is the low acquisition costs. Because many models are now also available cheaply in supermarkets or discounters.
A current study by the comparison portal Verivox shows that the purchase of balcony power plants for private households has already paid for itself after three years.
Save up to 228 euros a year in electricity costs
In its calculation, the comparison portal assumes a balcony power plant with an output of 600 watts per year. With this plug-in mini solar system you can generate around 570 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity yourself. “If you use all of the electricity yourself, this corresponds to savings of around 228 euros per year at an average kilowatt-hour price of 39.94 cents/kWh,” explains Verivox.
If households buy their balcony power plant on offer, the acquisition costs are between 700 and 900 euros. “In this sample calculation, the acquisition costs are included again after three to four years,” is the result of the study. From this point on, the owners of the mini photovoltaic system save a large proportion of their electricity costs with every year that it runs. “If the system runs for 20 years, around 4,550 euros will be saved in electricity costs.”
In order for the savings to be so large, however, the modules must be aligned correctly. This means they must be slightly tilted (30 to 40 degree angles) and facing south/southeast/southwest. Shadows should also be avoided on the modules. The balcony power plants generate a lot of electricity even if they are not aligned 100 percent correctly. However, their purchase usually only pays off a little later, says Thorsten Storck, energy expert at Verivox.
The average electricity price corresponds to the Verivox consumer price index for electricity in July 2023.
Note government funding
The fact that the purchase of a balcony power plant pays off so quickly is not only due to the lower prices. This year, the VAT on the products will no longer apply. In addition, in some federal states or municipalities there is a state subsidy for the purchase of such a small balcony system.
Households that opt for the balcony system receive different amounts of funding depending on the federal state:
- Baden-Württemberg: up to 800 euros depending on the region
- Bavaria: between 50 and 200 euros, depending on the region
- Berlin: up to 500 euros (only for tenants)
- Hesse: up to 500 euros
- Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: up to 500 euros per balcony power plant (only for tenants),
- Lower Saxony: up to 400 euros
- North Rhine-Westphalia: up to 800 euros
- Rhineland-Palatinate: up to 200 euros
- Schleswig-Holstein up to 200 euros
- Thuringia: up to 600 euros (via “Jena bonus beneficiaries”)
Please note that in many federal states and municipalities you have to apply for funding before you buy the mini photovoltaic system.
A balcony power plant must be registered in the market master data register of the Federal Network Agency. Otherwise there is a risk of fines.
Balcony power plants are particularly popular in Northern Germany
The number of mini solar systems for the balcony has doubled since the beginning of the year. This is the conclusion reached by the Federal Network Agency, which evaluated the registrations in its market master data register. The market master data register is a register in which, among other things, all power generation systems – including balcony systems – must be registered so that they can be operated legally. The market master data register currently includes around 230,000 plug-in generation plants (balcony power plants).
Especially in northern Germany, the mini solar systems for the balcony are popular with many households, as a list by Verivox shows: