IKEA is making it easier for homeowners to go green. The Swedish giant has teamed up with solar company Solarcentury to sell rooftop solar panels at Solar Shops in UK stores. The initiative launched today in three IKEA stores and online, and will roll out in remaining branches over the summer.
Based on IKEA’s research, one third of homeowners in the UK want solar panels installed on their home, with 60 percent motivated by reduced electric bills. According to IKEA, solar panels could slash homeowners’ electric bills by around 50 percent.
The company is offering two options: blue solar panels, which are cheaper, and black solar panels, which are more expensive but provide more energy. According to Solarcentury, the blue solar panels cost about £4,875, or $7,057, while the black solar panels will run about £5,150, or about $7,455. Those prices are estimates of what a homeowner would pay after the panels are “fully installed” and incorporate the IKEA FAMILY discount. From first inquiry to installation, IKEA estimates the process will take about six weeks.
IKEA UK and Ireland’s Head of Sustainability Joanna Yarrow said, “At IKEA we believe that renewable energy is undoubtedly the power of the future. We’re already using solar power across our operations, and it’s exciting to be able to help households tap into this wonderful source of clean energy.”
IKEA attempted to offer solar panels once before in the past with Chinese company Hanergy. That effort essentially failed, but there are key changes to the new partnership, notably that IKEA employees will manage solar panel sales themselves.
The partnership comes after the UK government announced a sharp 65 percent cut to their solar incentive program back in December, and the number of solar installations plummeted. While Yarrow told The Guardian those figures were “depressing,” she maintained that solar power is the energy source of the future.