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IKEA, the largest home-furnishing retailer worldwide, is taking its first step in bringing renewable energy to consumers. The company will begin offering residential solar panels at its stores in the United Kingdom and plans to offer residential solar panels worldwide, according to a report from the Associated Press.
IKEA product sales plans
The Swedish-based home-furnishing company started selling residential solar panels made by Hanergy Solar Group Ltd at its stores in Southampton. IKEA is planning to sell the product in all of its stores in Britain over the next several months.
IKEA is offering a standard, all-black 3.36 kilowatt solar panel system for a semi-detached home for 5,700 ($9,200). The price includes an in-store consultation, energy monitoring, design service, installation, and maintenance.
IKEA offering good price for consumers
In an interview with the Associated Press, Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer at IKEA, said the company is offering a good price for consumers and it is the right time for them to install solar panels in their homes.
"In the past few years the prices on solar panels have dropped, so it's a really good price now. It's the right time to go for the consumers," explained Howard. He added that the average consumers in Britain will be able to pay off their investment in installing solar panels in their homes in approximately seven years.
Howard said, "If you are going to be in your house that long, your energy will be free after seven years." He also said that IKEA is planning to sell residential solar panels at its stores in other countries worldwide. The company chose the United Kingdom as a test market because of its mid-level electricity prices and government-sponsored financial incentives, which is an attractive combination for consumers to invest in solar panels. "This is a market by market decision, said Howard.
Private solar panels electricity sale
Private solar panels in the United Kingdom have the opportunity to sell back their surplus electricity. The British government is offering a financing plan for consumers who want to invest in a solar panel system, which means they can purchase the product without an upfront cost, and complete the payment gradually.
In due time, IKEA store in the United States will carry solar panels too. In the meantime, home improvement retailers such as The Home Depot, Inc. and Lowe's Companies, Inc. are already selling solar panels. Various energy suppliers can install solar panels as well as par of a “green” or “renewable” plan. Check to see if solar panels are available in you area!