MPs back ban on energy firm charges for solar panel owners


A majority of MPs want to stop energy companies charging consumers who feed excess electricity from their solar panels back into the national grid. 

Nearly all energy firms have now introduced some form of charge. They argue the fees are necessary because they incur costs and that it would be unfair to pass these on to all customers, including those without panels. 

NSC parliamentarian Wytske Postma is backed by the four coalition parties and others in her bid to have the charges ruled illegal. Having to pay to feed electricity into the grid is “the world turned upside down”, she said, ahead of Thursday’s debate on energy regulations.

Postma says there is a risk that households will switch off their panels on sunny days if they have to pay the charges. She also wants energy companies to do more to boost grid capacity, which is already stretched to breaking point. 

The outgoing government wanted to phase out the current ruling which allows solar panel owners to subtract the amount of energy they have fed into the grid from their own usage, but the senate voted against it in February.

The new coalition partners, however, have agreed to stop the regulation in one go in 2027 and say this will generate some €621 million in additional tax income for the treasury. 

Almost one in three Dutch households now have solar panels on their roofs, according to grid management company Netbeheer Nederland. In total, Dutch homes now have 2.6 million panels, a rise of 600,000 from a year ago, Netbeheer said last month.

Last year’s rise follows a 30% increase in 2022 which was prompted by soaring energy prices. However, sales slowed in the second half of last year and it could be that the market is slowly becoming saturated, Netbeheer said. 

The Dutch consumer and markets authority ACM said earlier this year that energy firms have to pay several hundred euros per client per year to process their excess electricity and offset it against regular usage. It is currently working on a more detailed report, which will be published later this month.

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen chairwoman of energy company lobby group Energie Nederland, says there is a complete lack of clarity about how the government plans to deal with solar panels and excess electricity. “It is impossible to follow,” she told broadcaster NOS. “This is yo-yo strategy and we urgently need clarity.”

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation