IKEA is re-trialing solar panel sales in some of its UK stores, following a successful trial back in 2013.
Customers visiting the company’s Lakeside (Thurrock), Glasgow and Birmingham stores will be able to navigate the company’s new ‘Solar Shops’ which are designed to help homeowners live more sustainably.
For this new pilot scheme IKEA is working with UK solar specialist Solarcentury which will manage the design and installation process of the panels. Solarcentury will recommend local installers to homeowners from its existing network.
The ‘Solar Shops’ themselves will be managed and branded by IKEA however, which will be on hand to offer advice and give a provisional quote regarding how much the solar panels will cost.
While the pilot scheme is currently only available in three stores across the UK, IKEA admits that it is hoping to have the rest of its stores equipped with a ‘Solar Shop’ by the end of the summer.
This is the second time IKEA has trialled solar panel sales in the UK, with the company launching a similar pilot in 2013. That trial was deemed a success with the company rolling it out to more of its stores, until the company support IKEA, Hanergy, mutually decided to part-ways.
The reason for the separation was due to the UK Government’s plans to cut solar subsidies by almost 90%. With the huge jump in cost, IKEA was clearly unwilling to damage its value-for-money proposition – but this latest move proves that the company still believes solar panels could be big business.
According to the company’s research, a third of UK homeowners are interested in investing in solar panels. 60% of those respondents said that the key factor was a reduction in electricity bills.
Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability at IKEA UK and Ireland, says: “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.
“We know our customers want to live more sustainably, so together with Solarcentury we are making solar panels as attractive and affordable as possible. Evidence shows that installing solar panels enables households to save up to 50%* on their electricity bills and with our new solar panel offer we hope to encourage more and more people to embrace solar energy for their homes.
“Despite the challenging UK renewable energy policy situation, we want to turn solar into an essential part of any home and believe our new “Solar Shops” will be a major milestone in making this happen.”
IKEA Family members will get 15% off solar panels with the service available both online and in-store.