Ikea to Start Selling Solar Panels
Along with their famous flat-pack furniture and hot dogs, Ikea stores all over the UK will be having a little addition to their already expansive family: solar panels. Ikea will be the first large retailer in the UK to have a proper impact on its customers’ energy-saving.
An Ikea rooftop solar panel system will cost around £5,700 for the average three-bedroom, semi-detached home. Cost efficient, particularly when compared with the average price of £7,000. Ikea has also thrown in some extra benefits for free: design services, consultations, installation and maintenance, as well as services to monitor customers’ energy usage.
Ikea is hoping to be selling the solar panels in all of their British stores within the next 10 months, and it is all down to a partnership they have forged with Hanergy Solar Group – a panel making company from China. Ikea was a part of the design process and helped revamp the panels to make them more attractive for customers.
One appealing aspect of the systems, is that the electricity generated from them comes from ultraviolet light, instead of just sunlight. This means that it doesn’t matter how dismal the British weather gets, the panels will still effectively do their job and give customers at least one thing to smile about on a grey day. Hanergy have posted step-by-step instructions on their UK website, meaning customers can even install their own panels.
When selling the solar panel systems as part of a trial in July, approximately one system sold a day, and Ikea realised that more people want to start generating their own energy. The surprising success of the trial led to the decision that Ikea would sell the panels in the rest of their 18 UK stores, and if they sell well enough, the solar panels will be introduced to other countries.
With everything included in the price, experts think the panels will end up paying for themselves in just seven years – partly because of how much money the customer save will save on energy prices, and utility companies having to pay costs to consumers who create their own energy through solar or wind power.
As if trying to lead by example, Ikea stores around the world have roofs adorned with their own solar panels and plan to be fully powered by renewable energy by 2020.
Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability for Ikea in Britain and Ireland, explained that Ikea wants to be a part of allowing people to be able to live the green lifestyle: “We’re excited to be able to help customers take positive actions at home for both the environment and their wallets.”