Now the Swedish company is setting out to change the way we think about powering our homes.
IKEA began selling solar panels in its store in Southampton on September 30th and plans on offering them in every store in Britain in the coming months.
A 3.36 kilowatt system for a semi-detached home will cost 5,700 pounds ($9,200 USD). The solar panel systems are manufactured by China’s Hanergy.
“In the past few years the prices on solar panels have dropped, so it’s a really good price now,” IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard said in an article published by The Associated Press. “It’s the right time to go for the consumers.”
Solar panels and generators are sold in several retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada, but in many parts of the world, buyers must purchase from specialty companies often at greater expense. IKEA will also be offering an in-store consultation as well as installation, maintenance and monitoring rolled into its price.
It’s likely that the company will sway some solar skeptics to the bright side. The solar panel investment will be paid off in seven years for a typical UK home.
“If you are going to be in your house that long, your energy will be free after seven years,” Howard told The Associated Press.
Howard said Britain was chosen as a test market because it has the right combination of mid-level electricity prices and government-provided financial incentives.
“This is a market by market decision,” he said.