Furniture chain IKEA has stepped into the UK’s residential solar power generation and storage market with its new solar panel and home storage battery system products. The battery storage system is designed to work alongside its existing solar panels which will enable consumers to store excess renewable power for consumption at a later time.
According to IKEA, UK homes that generate solar power typically use just 40% of the electricity generated or even less. This is mainly because many people are out during the day. The remaining 60% of unused solar power is sold back to the National Grid at a loss compared to its value.
IKEA adds that battery storage systems will help increase their solar power consumption to 80% which could convert to an annual saving of £560 a year-an additional £180 savings per year.
IKEA claims householders can pay off the capital invested in the solar panels and battery storage – £6,925 in total – in roughly 12 years, at an average of 6% annual return.
Making solar uncomplicated
While’s IKEA’s energy solution may not be a DIY project like its furniture assembly, the company says it aims to make the process as uncomplicated as possible. The retailer will provide potential customers with everything they need to go solar as quickly as possible including a free quote, home survey, quotation approval and final installation.
Hege Saebjornsen, Country Sustainability Manager at IKEA UK & Ireland said: “We know that our customers want to live more sustainably and together with Solarcentury, we will help them to get more value from their solar panels and do just that.
“With energy bills already going up 15% this year, there’s never been a better time for customers to take back control of their electricity bills and maximise their savings by switching to solar and solar storage.”
If this solution takes off like IKEA hopes it will, the company may look to expand the model elsewhere. That could mean partnering with different providers in different regions, so this could present an opportunity for home solar market expansion much more broadly across the ecosystem.
The news follows the government’s launch of the first phase of the £246 million battery storage challenge. Ofgem has also been encouraging consumers to generate, store and use their own energy.
Retail opportunities in solar
IKEA has joined a number of other large companies that have recognised the opportunities in the solar energy space.
For instance, Google has developed a tool called Project Sunroof, which provides homeowners with a customized savings estimate based on the hours of sunlight an area receives over the course of a year. It also reveals the number of panels installed in an area.