The UK government is consulting on reducing the VAT rate to zero for households that install a photovoltaic installation with energy storage.

A government consultation is currently underway in the UK on the revision of the legislation relating to VAT. A reduction in the VAT rate for PV and heat pump installations to 0% was announced last March. This measure is to be expanded to include further components of PV systems, such as electricity storage. The change would be extremely beneficial for users planning to purchase and install a photovoltaic system with energy storage. This is because it provides for a reduction in the VAT rate to 0%. However, the installation would have to have an energy storage system, as well as be fully purchased and installed by professional installers. The sellers of RES equipment themselves will not be able to benefit from the zero VAT rate. The tax credit introduced does not only apply to photovoltaics, heat pumps and energy storage. Other materials and equipment covered by the new legislation include: wind and hydro turbines. The government is also exploring ways to facilitate low-cost financing for households from retail lenders. Indeed, the initial cost of installing panels is discouraging the British from investing in solar PV. A reduction in the VAT rate to zero is planned for five years. After this period, the still attractive low rate of 5% VAT is expected to be implemented. For now, however, the date on which the government would announce such a decision is unknown. 

How are they doing it in other countries?

Similar arrangements are already in place in Germany, where there is a zero tax rate (both sales and income tax) for the installation of photovoltaics, including the components necessary for the operation of the system and energy storage. The VAT exemption applies to single-family homes and in commercial properties up to 30 kilowatts (kW). In addition, from the beginning of 2023, income from the operation of photovoltaic installations up to 30 kW and, in the case of mixed-use properties, up to 15 kW per residential or commercial premises are exempt.

Greece, in turn, has set aside €200 million for photovoltaic subsidies. The scheme, in force since April 1, 2023, provides subsidies of up to 75% for panels or up to 100% for batteries, used in domestic and farm installations.

Energy storage – electricity whenever you need it

Energy storage in combination with photovoltaics is the perfect solution for taking full advantage of energy from the sun. It provides the user with energy independence, contributes to the profitability of the photovoltaic installation and reduces the carbon footprint. Furthermore, energy storage offers the possibility of creating your own emergency power supply system.

Energy storage, like many other products needed to provide power, is available from the Green Cell brand. These include, in particular, the GC PowerNest, which is a home energy storage compatible with inverters from many other brands; the solar inverter, which combines both an MPPT controller, inverter and battery charger; AGM and LiFePO4 batteries, which provide power for a variety of devices both at home and on the go; and UPS  – emergency power supply equipment.