What you need to know about solar panels in the Netherlands

Want to make the most of those hot summer days? Consider installing solar panels!

By selling off excess power to your electricity grid in the Netherlands, under ‘the salderingsregeling’, you can lower your utility bill. But don’t wait too long because this arrangement will be phased out in stages over 6 years starting 1 Jan 2025. Catch up on how it works so that you get the most bang for each shiny ray before it’s gone!

Use it yourself or sell it back to the grid

You can either choose to make use of the extra energy generated by the solar panels yourself by implementing a battery system (something that’s becoming more popular in South Africa as well) or you can sell it back to the grid. Either option provides a more cost-effective solution to the current rise in utility prices.

Things to know about selling back to the grid
  • Not all grids will let you sell back the extra energy

According to the KVK:
“Before you apply for the salderingsregeling, check with your grid administrator whether or not it is possible to supply energy back to the grid. The grid must have the capacity to receive and process the energy you supply. This is not always the case. The EAN codebook (in Dutch) will tell you which grid operator is responsible for the network you are on….

“Do you want to make use of the salderingsregeling? Then you are legally required to notify the power grid administrators that you have solar panels. You can notify them via the website  energieleveren.nl. The notification consists of your contact details, plus information about your power installation: the meter number of your electricity meter and your solar panels’ capacity. It is an offence not to notify your solar panels. Also, your energy supplier may decide not to compensate you for solar power you have put back in the grid.”

  • Only intended for small consumers

The salderingsregeling is a great arrangement for small businesses who do not require more than 55.2 kW power to run their machinery, such as saunas and heated pools. This applies specifically to those with business connections of up to 3×80 Amperes – if your system needs higher energy use, you, unfortunately, cannot benefit from the program!

  • You only pay if you use more than you supply

Do you use more energy than is supplied back to the grid? If so, your energy provider will net out any excess supply. That means you only pay the difference between kWhs used and their associated taxes or surcharges. On the flip side, if you supplied more electricity than what you used then some providers may even pay YOU for this extra power! While exact rates depend on each supplier’s policies, it could mean that not only don’t need to worry about an electric bill but also be rewarded with money in return!

  • Phasing out of the salderingsregeling

From 2025 onwards, the Dutch government will be taking steps to phase out their salderingsregeling. During 2025 and 2026, you’ll only be able to make use of up to 64% of your total generated power to offset what you use. After this point, however, the maximum percentage allowed progressively reducesby 9% per year  until it ceases altogether at 2031.

  • Make use of subsidies and tax schemes to buy your solar panels for cheaper

Looking to invest in solar panels? You may be able to save money with certain subsidies and tax schemes. For example, you can reclaim the 21% VAT on your purchase from the Dutch Tax Administration if eligible.

Another option is the KIA or Small Projects Investment Credit – this allows a deduction of part of investment in solar panels from profit when paying income tax.

And finally, there are two additional eco-investment allowances; EIA (Energy Investment Allowance) which deducts energy investments such as Solar Panels and MIA (Environmental Investment Allowance), for environmentally friendly purchases that lower taxes due at year-end.

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