Make your company more sustainable with solar energy

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Statistics Netherlands, CBS
Statistics Netherlands, CBS

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.

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.

Solar panels (in Dutch) for electricity (solar PV) convert solar energy into electricity. You can install the panel on the roof of your building, or you can invest in a solar farm. You can invest by yourself, but you can also choose to invest together with other companies or people, for instance in local energy initiatives (in Dutch).

Solar boilers (in Dutch) convert sunlight into hot water. This works with solar collectors that you can put on the roof of your company building, for instance. The hot water is stored in a storage vessel, from which you can use it as tap water. Some solar boilers can also be used to heat spaces or for use in industrial processes.

PVT systems are a combination of solar panels and solar boilers. They supply electricity, heating, and cooling. A PVT panel is a hybrid panel that combines a solar panel (PV) with a heat exchanger (T). The heat they offer is mainly suitable as a source for heat pumps. A PVT system is one of the new applications of solar energy (in Dutch).

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:

You can apply for the Sustainable energy investment subsidy scheme (ISDE) if you invest in solar panels or solar boilers on a smaller scale. You will be refunded for part of the purchase costs.

Some of the key conditions are:

  • You have a small consumer connection of maximum 3 x 80A (ampere)
  • Install the solar panels on your company premises
  • You apply for the subsidy before you buy the solar panel or solar boiler

You can find all conditions for the ISDE scheme (in Dutch) on the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s website.

Do you want to invest in solar panels or solar boilers on a larger scale? You can apply for the Sustainable energy transition subsidy scheme (SDE++). You will get a monthly subsidy for the energy you generate over a period of 15 years.

You can use this subsidy for:

  • Solar panels you connect via a large consumer connection to the electricity grid.
  • Solar thermal systems with a capacity of at least 140 kWth. This only applies to systems with covered solar heating collectors.
  • Solar PVT panels with a heat pump. These are solar collectors with which you generate both heat and electricity at the same time.

You can consult the general conditions for the SDE++ on

Do you want to invest in solar panels together with other companies or people? You can apply for the Subsidy scheme for Cooperative Energy Generation (SCE). This scheme is meant for energy cooperatives or homeowners’ associations (VVEs) that want to buy solar panels to install in a sun farm or a roof. The members of the cooperative should be established in the same area (postal code area).

You can find the general conditions for the SCE (in Dutch) on

The Energy Investment Allowance (EIA) offers a tax advantage if you buy solar panels or solar heat collectors for your company. You can offset a percentage (45.5% in 2021) of the investment costs against your taxable profit. The solar panels and collectors must fit the description included in the Energy list 2023 (pdf, in Dutch).

Check the conditions for the EIA.

With the Small projects investment credit (KIA) you can deduct part of investments in business assets from your taxable profit. Solar panels or solar boilers can be such business assets. The investment costs cannot be higher than the amounts set by the Netherlands Tax Administration (Belastingdienst).

With the BMKB-Green scheme, you can get a loan guaranteed by the government. This allows you to borrow more money more easily. You can use the loan to make your business premises more sustainable with solar panels or solar collectors. The assets must be on the Energy List of the EIA (in Dutch).

Several municipalities or provinces also offer subsidies for solar panels or solar boilers. Or they offer advice, for instance on the suitability of your roof. You can check with your province or municipality which schemes they offer.

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 (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 2025.

Read more about netting and supplying energy back (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. Read about the solutions to make our energy system more flexible.

    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.

    If you are an entrepreneur and have solar panels installed on your own home, 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.

    Points of attention 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 environmental and planning permit (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 permit check on the online service counter Omgevingsloket (in Dutch). 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.

    Questions relating to this article?

    Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO