The curious collection of a slightly mad scientist
Swedish flatpack pioneers IKEA are providing eco-friendly British shoppers with their own solar panels.
As well as their Billy bookcases, tea light candles and meatballs with lingonberry,IKEA customers can now get add the energy-boosting panels to their shopping trolley.
The Skandinavian superstore rolled out the solar panels in their Southampton store yesterday and will sell them in the rest of Britain in the coming months.
The panels, made by China’s Hanergy, are a standard, all-black 3.36 kilowatt system designed for an average semi-detached home and costing £5,700.
They include in-store consultation and design service as well as installation, maintenance and energy monitoring service and it is estimated the panels will produce “free energy” after seven years.
KEA Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard said: “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.
“If you are going to be in your house that long, your energy will be free after seven years.”
Howard said IKEA aims to launch the products in other countries eventually. It picked Britain as its test market because it has the right combination of mid-level electricity prices and government-sponsored financial incentives that make investing in solar energy attractive to consumers.