The Cost of Solar Thermal Systems

Solar thermal systems cost far more in Switzerland than in Austria or Germany. Working on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, EBP has conducted a cost survey and identified the reasons for the differences in costs.

One of the most important factors hindering the increase of solar thermal energy in Switzerland is the cost of solar thermal systems. Anecdotally, costs in neighbouring Austria and Germany are reported to be lower. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy has therefore set out to determine  how much cheaper solar thermal systems really are in the neighbouring countries and find out what the reasons for this are.

EBP  defined typical solar systems for each region and then conducted a survey of their respective costs in Switzerland, Austria and in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. According to the results of the survey, the cost of a typical solar installation for a single-family home was between 35% and 75% more expensive in Switzerland than in Austria and Germany. Moreover, the difference in price for a typical solar installation for a multiple-family residence in Switzerland was even higher, coming in at 60% to 100% above the price in Austria and Germany. The higher labour costs in Switzerland account for only a part of the price difference.

In addition to carrying out the price survey, EBP provided answers to the following questions:

  • What system components account for the greatest difference in price?
  • What are the main reasons for the difference in price?
  • What measures could be introduced to close the price gap?