IKEA, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, is to sell solar panels at its British stores, the first time it has offered the devices and marking an attempt to tap growth in the heavily subsidised green energy market.
The Sweden-based company, best known for cheap basics such as its Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas, plans to offer solar panel packages at all of its 17 British stores within the next 10 months.
IKEA’s offer of panels made by China’s Hanergy Holding Group Ltd, a power producer and manufacturer of thin-film PV panels, involves a minimum spend of 5,700 pounds for which customers get 18 panels which should break even within roughly seven years.
IKEA customers will receive a package that includes in-store consultation, installation and maintenance of the panels, which are made in Germany.
The Swedish company has its own ambitious clean energy target, aiming to source at least 70 percent of the group’s energy needs from wind and solar power by 2015 and 100 percent by 2020.