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Make your company more sustainable with solar energy

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency RVOStatistics Netherlands, CBSStatistics Netherlands, CBSNederlandse versie

Do you want to use sustainable energy in your business? You can consider solar panels or a solar boiler. You can reduce your costs for electricity and hot water significantly. This way you can recoup your investment and improve the energy label of your property. In 2023, most office buildings should have energy label C or better.

Solar panels or solar boilers

If you want to use solar energy, you can choose to install solar panels, solar boilers, or a combination of the two.

Subsidies for solar panels and solar boilers

If you want to buy or use solar panels or solar boilers, you can make use of a number of subsidies. You can also benefit from tax advantages:

Use, return, or store solar electricity?

You can use the energy you generate from your solar panels yourself. But you can also supply the energy back to the grid, store it, or a combination of these.

Supplying electricity back to the grid

You can supply the electricity you generate back to your energy supplier. You need to report this to your grid operator through the website energieleveren.nl (in Dutch). The grid must have enough capacity to absorb the electricity. Your electricity meter must also be suitable. Ask you grid administrator about this. You can find your grid operator in the EAN codebook (in Dutch).

Do you have a small consumer connection of maximum 3 x 80A (ampere)? Your grid administrator will offset the electricity you return to the grid against the electricity you use. This is called netting, or salderen in Dutch. If you return more electricity than you use, you will be reimbursed by your supplier. This netting arrangement (salderingsregeling) will be phased out from 2023.

For further explanation of netting and supplying energy back to the grid you can consult the information (in Dutch) on the website of the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).

Storing solar energy in a battery system

You can also choose to store (part of) the energy in one or more batteries. Especially when the netting arrangement is being phased out, this can be a beneficial solution. It is also a good option for those regions where you cannot supply energy back to the grid, for instance because the grid is overloaded. You can store energy in batteries only for a limited period. You will still need an electricity connection for winter periods. Note that storing the energy can also impact the amount of your SDE or SCE subsidy.

    Solar panels and VAT

    If you buy solar panels and have them installed on your business premises, you will have to pay VAT on these costs. You must also pay VAT on the electricity you supply to your energy company. You can reclaim the VAT for the purchase and installation.

    How you reclaim the VAT depends, among other things, on your form of business (e.g. sole trader or private limited company). Learn more about solar panels and VAT.

    As of 1 January 2023, if you are an entrepreneur and have solar panels installed on your own home or another part of your residence, you do not have to pay VAT on these costs. You do have to pay VAT on the electricity you supply to your energy company.

    Notable issues if you buy solar panels or solar boilers

    Do you want to purchase solar panels or solar boilers for your company? You should take into account some concerns:

    • Do you want to install solar panels on a roof? Make sure the roof is suitable. The supplier of the solar panels can help you. For some subsidy schemes, for instance the SDE++, a feasibility study is required.
    • In some cases, you need an all-in-one permit for physical aspects (omgevingsvergunning). For instance, if you want to install them in a field or on a building that is yet to be built. You can find out if this is the case through the Dutch-language 'Service counter all-in-one permit for physical aspects' (Omgevingsloket Online, OLO). Additionally, you should ask your municipality if you need any other permits.
    • If you install solar panels or solar (heat) collectors on your company building, this may affect the insurance for this building. Ask your insurance company about the possible consequences.

    Facts and figures: Number of solar panel installations at business locations

    An installations is the registration of solar panels at a certain location in a certain year. The number of registrations of installations by companies has increased in recent years.

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