IKEA, the Swedish furniture company known for its cheap, DIY-furniture basics is making moves into the solar panel market. After a successful test run in London, the retailer's decided to make its standard (all-black) 3.36 kilowatt solar system available at all of its UK locations in the coming months.
The panels retail for 5,700 British pounds ($9,200) and, unlike the company's other offerings, come with installation. Also included in the package are an in-store consultation and design service, along with maintenance and energy monitoring.
Britain's renewable energy policy makes it the ideal place to launch solar, reports Reuters:
Britain offers subsidies to encourage the takeup of PV panels - which harness the power of sunlight and transform it into electricity - in a bid to boost greener energy production and help it meet legally-binding targets to cut carbon emissions.
A solar panel owner receives subsidies for generating solar-sourced electricity as well as exporting excess power into the grid. An average semi-detached house with a south-facing roof would earn as much as 770 pounds ($1,200) a year through subsidies and savings on energy bills, an IKEA case study showed.
Customers, they estimate, will recoup the cost of the panels in seven years' time.
Solar panels, Bloomberg News recently proclaimed, are the new granite countertop: a standard feature increasingly found in newly constructed homes. IKEA entering the market signals that they're set to become something even more basic: the everyman's home accessory.