Flat-pack solar solutions?

Come to Ikea for the meatballs and flat-pack furniture, stay for the solar panels? It’s interesting to see that Ikea have started selling solar panels and home battery storage in the UK, provided in association with Solarcentury, a UK solar power company, and include panels that integrate with existing roofing solutions. With energy bills on the rise, Ikea suggests this is a good time for customers to take advantage of the technology and maximise their electricity savings by switching to solar and solar storage.

According to Ikea, an average UK home with solar panels will generally use around 40% of the solar electricity it generates. The batteries will allow users to store unused electricity generated by their solar panels and use it to fill the gaps when the sun isn’t shining. Battery storage allows an average home to double its solar electricity usage to 80%, which would mean a significant reduction in electricity bills for customers.

One of the key obstacles for home solar power has been the prohibitive costs of storage technologies that would allow customers to really harness the use of the electricity created by their solar panels. With Ikea stepping into the market, it is a sign of the changing times, as the furniture company is renowned for affordable living solutions. As the cost of lithium-ion cells used in batteries has already dropped 73% since 2010, the technology is increasingly affordable for the average household with Ikea battery storage prices start at £3,000.

Whilst the solar solutions Ikea are offering are a step away from their traditional DIY furniture assembly, the company is trying to simplify the process of moving to solar and lower barriers such as cost. This is in keeping with the company’s broader mission to ‘offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.’ Customers will be provided with everything they need to adopt solar energy solutions as quickly as possible, including a free quotation, a home survey, quotation approval and final installation.

Ikea joins a growing list of companies looking to solar power to enhance their product offerings. Elon Musk has added SolarCity to his stable of companies, allowing him to leverage his battery technology by also providing solar roof products. Google are also stepping into the mix with a tool called Project Sunroof, which gives consumers a customized savings estimate based on the hours of sunlight their area gets per year. The sun looks to be shining on the future of solar in business.