Photovoltaic promotion: all possibilities at a glance

Homeowners who want to install a photovoltaic system on their roof can use various subsidies. Thus, the federal government supports the domestic production of solar power via the feed-in tariff. But also cities, municipalities and energy suppliers set up support programs. An overview:

Guide / Electricity

Image: Father and son playing ball in front of house with solar roof Image: © altrendo images / Stockbyte / / Text: Verivox

Feed-in tariff according to the EEG

The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) gives operators of photovoltaic systems a fixed remuneration for the electricity fed into the public grid. How high this is depends, first, on the time of commissioning. In addition, the rates of remuneration depend on the size of the installation and the type of installation (roof system, ground-mounted systems, PV systems on sealed and conversion surfaces). In general, it can be said that the remuneration per kilowatt-hour is higher the earlier a plant went into operation and the smaller the plant was designed. The valid feed-in tariff is guaranteed for the year of commissioning and then for another twenty years. Interested parties can find out which rates of remuneration are paid under which conditions on the website of the Federal Network Agency.

Infeed or self-consumption?

The feed-in of solar power into the public grid ensures a safe return. However, self-consumption is becoming increasingly attractive due to falling remuneration and rising electricity prices. The highest possible self-consumption is achieved with electricity storage systems, the installation of which is promoted with a low-interest loan and an amortization subsidy. So if you only feed your electricity surplus into the grid, you can benefit twice.

Development loan from KfW-Bank

The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) has launched the Renewable Energies – Standard 270 program specifically to promote photovoltaic systems. It enables the low-interest financing of solar systems. In addition to the purchase of a new photovoltaic system, it is also possible to build up and expand used plants. You can choose terms of five, ten or 20 years. The conditions of the promotional loan depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant. This determines the house bank, over which also the credit agreement is completed. Details about the KfW promotional bank program are available here.

Regional funding programs

Even federal states, cities and municipalities occasionally promote the installation of photovoltaic systems via investment subsidies or low-interest loans. The extent to which homeowners can avail themselves of regional support programs should be inquired in individual cases from the city or local government. A look at the funding database of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the BINE Information Service can also be worthwhile.

Grants from energy suppliers

In addition to the federal government, federal states and municipalities, energy supply companies also provide subsidies for the construction of PV systems. The type of promotion varies from provider to provider. While some municipal utilities pay a surcharge on the state-paid feed-in tariff, others grant a one-time subsidy, in part depending on the installed capacity of the PV system. As a rule, only customers of the company are eligible to apply. In addition, the support may be subject to other conditions, such as the promotion of new customers. Exact study of the conditions is therefore advisable.

Use tax advantages

Private homeowners become entrepreneurs when they put a photovoltaic system into operation and feed the electricity generated into the public grid. This means more paperwork, but it can also have advantages: For example, the costs for the purchase of the system, its maintenance and repair can be tax deducted as operating expenses. This also includes renovations to the roof, which are necessary due to the installation of the solar system, as well as ongoing costs, such as insurance premiums. In return, the PV system operator has to record the feed-in tariff and the own use as revenue and pay taxes on it.

Operators, whose annual revenue does not exceed the limit of 17,500 euros, have the choice: they can make use of the small business rules and thus get rid of the payment of VAT. The Federation of Energy Consumers has put together current tax tips for operators of photovoltaic systems.

EEG funding is to be turned around

The federal government plans to switch the EEG subsidy from 2017 – away from fixed compensation rates to more competition. Anyone wishing to receive a subsidy for their wind or solar park in the future must compete against other operators of green power plants. The contract or funding is awarded to the person who operates his plant most economically and requires the least funding. BUT: Small and medium photovoltaic installations with an installed capacity of up to one megawatt are to be exempted from this rule and further promoted according to fixed rates of remuneration.



Cities are trying to get out of the risky loan trap

The government is forcing banks to sign a charter to limit the sale of complex debt.

At the request of the ministries of the interior and the economy, the banks will commit to no longer selling local loans so-called “structured” riskier, which can explode the cost of their debt.

It was during a final working meeting on Friday, May 29, that institutions, including Dexia, Caisses d’Epargne, Crédit Agricole and Societe Generale, together with the associations of local elected representatives, finalize a charter of good conduct inspired by the mission of Eric Gissler, Inspector General of Finance. It provides for six commitments, on a voluntary basis, including the elimination of the most dangerous products, to better inform borrowers of the real cost of loans and to systematically propose a conventional loan alternative like payday loan consolidation

Structured loans have hit the headlines since the summer of 2008. The rates of these loans, which are favorable in the first years, can then be multiplied by ten, and repayments vary according to other parameters, such as the exchange rate of the Swiss franc. , that of the dollar or the gap between various long-term and short-term interest rates, unrelated to the evolution of borrowers’ receipts. In some formulas, called “snowball”, the rate paid on each date accumulates with those of previous years. “Some loans were so complex that we had trouble deciphering them ourselves, ” says Eric Boulot, former global head of structured products at JP Morgan, now chairman of the Riskedge consulting firm.

Of the 100 billion euros of local government debt, 19.2% are composed of such loans, according to Finance Active, consulting firm. The Court of Auditors, which proceeds to the inventory of toxic loans, estimates, according to the first results, that 35% of the communities would be affected.


On 1 January 2009, 92% of the 805.3 million euros of debt from the Seine-Saint-Denis are structured loans. “The department has benefited, for three years, very low rates, around 1.5%, but after this period, we must pay an estimated extra cost, between 118 and 160 million euros, over eight years, or, per year, the equivalent of the construction of a college, ” protested Claude Bartolone, chairman of the general counsel.

With the crisis causing their future financial burdens to explode, local authorities are trying to secure their debt by renegotiating these toxic loans. But for many, the operation is a challenge. Seeing that its rate would go from 1% to 7% and 10%, one city wanted to replace the loan of 10 million euros, variable rate, by another, the more conventional fixed rate of 3%. But she was told that she had to pay a cancellation fee for the first loan amounting to … 10 million euros!

To get out of its credit of 45 million euros, the Syndicat intercommunal of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Sidru), which manages the waste, should pay him 28 million euros, much more than the 6.4 million saved the first years of the loan. Communities attempting to renegotiate are routinely subject to penalties of between 25% and 40% of outstanding principal.

Plaisir (Yvelines) renegotiated, in May 2008, a loan of 10 million euros subscribed in 2006 from the Caisse d’épargne. “The loan period has been extended from twenty to thirty years and the city had to pay 800,000 euros in fees, integrated into a new credit,” says Patrick Malivet, advisor (PS) opposition.

The case of Saint-Etienne remains worrying. In 2008, the previous municipal team had accumulated a debt of 380 million euros, 70% of which was at risk loans, with eight “snowball” loans and a loan backed by the British pound. “Banks do not make any financial effort to share the risks and it is only thanks to market opportunities that we have managed to reduce to 50% the share of the most toxic loans, ” says Maurice Vincent, the mayor.

In the dock, the banks attest to their goodwill. Prime lender to the public sector, Dexia speaks, through the voice of its commercial director, Jean-Luc Guitard, “1,300 renegotiations in 2008, 200 more since the beginning of the year and 500 before us”. “The communities were worried because of the crisis, but the risks did not materialize,” says Guitard. He refuses to take responsibility for the excesses committed: “Bankers lack accurate information on the nature of the debt of communities. Some have stacked financial products on conventional credits without it appear on the balance sheet.

“The Charter is a positive step, but very insufficient, said Jean-Louis Bianco, MP (PS) Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. We would prefer a binding law for banks.”

News Cost trap withdraw money abroad: Beware of the ATM

News Cost trap withdraw money abroad: Beware of the ATM News always well informed T

uesday, 14.06.16 , written by Anja Schlicht Ever heard of Dynamic Currency Conversion? The immediate euro billing ensures that vacationers have to pay heavily while withdrawing money abroad. What is camouflaged as well-meaning service, turns out at the latest when looking at the bank statement as a rip-off. Some tips abroad, however, travelers abroad to fall into the consumer trap. > Tipps fürs Geld abheben im Ausland: Abzocke vermeiden

Whether Japan or France: avoid rip-off at the ATM

Whether winter or summer: a holiday abroad can relax body and mind. With the recovery, however, it is quickly over , when travelers look back at the bank statement on their return and realize that they were pulled off the money when abroad were ripped off the table . Because at many ATMs, bank customers are offered to debit the account in euros instead of in the foreign currency . This service is called Dynamic Currency Conversion and often promises a guaranteed exchange rate and zero percent commission. But who decides, makes lousy . In a test of the Stiftung Warentest from May 2016, the loss was due to the bad conversion at up to twelve percent.

Withdraw money abroad: Always debit account with foreign currency

For the test, the consumer organization in several countries let money withdraw from the machine, including Bulgaria, Poland, Switzerland and Norway. If the testers had decided on the immediate conversion of the euro , they would have escaped between three and twelve percent of the withdrawal amount . This is because the ATM operators charge a worse rate than the domestic bank. The actual price used in the conversion is not always given correctly. Stiftung Warentest therefore recommends that when withdrawing money abroad, you should choose the foreign currency if you have a choice between this and the euro – even if the machine repeatedly asks whether bank customers really want to debit their foreign currency account.

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Pay with cards or withdraw money: Lurking here cost traps

Not only when withdrawing money vacationers abroad can fall into the cost trap, but also in the card payment at the till . As at the vending machine, partial conversion is sometimes offered here. Stiftung Warentest observed this in different countries. The loss was between two and five percent. Particularly annoying: Information about the debit in euros, there was only sparse or not at all. After all, consumers have the right to fight back . You can reclaim the goods from the seller and insist on an account debit in the local currency. However, this can be difficult due to the language barrier.

Foreigners are threatened with rip-offs at the ATM

The tip to withdraw money from the conversion into the domestic currency is not only valid for Germans abroad. Anyone who receives visitors from countries without a Euro currency can pass on the advice. For even with local ATMs that are not assigned to any bank, it is trying to rip off with the scam.

3 tips to prevent rip-off at the ATM

With some credit cards you can withdraw money abroad free of charge. However, there are fewer and fewer providers. For example, Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB) has not reimbursed any fees since June 1, 2016, which are incurred through withdrawals with the Visa card at the foreign ATM. Such costs are referred to as foreign service charges.

In general, the following steps are recommended for every vacationer, if he wants to travel abroad:

  • Keep track of the current exchange rate so that travelers always have an idea of ​​how good or bad the exchange rate at the ATM is. It may be cheaper to pay by card than to withdraw extra cash.
  • Inform the bank in advance about the trip . Otherwise, it might suspect card theft and misuse due to unexpected transactions from abroad and have the card blocked.
  • Inquire with the financial institution about partner banks abroad to avoid unnecessary charges.

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