Ikea is now offering solar panels and home batteries to its customers in the UK. The Scandinavian furniture chain is partnering with solar firm Solarcentury for the venture, with prices for solar battery storage starting at £3,000 (about $3,970 USD).
The home batteries are designed to work with existing solar panels, or as part of a new combined home solar panel / battery storage system that Ikea is selling. Ikea says an average UK home with solar panels will typically consume around 40 percent of the solar electricity it generates. The remaining 60 percent of unused solar electricity is sold back to the National Grid, though at a loss compared to its value.
The batteries will allow users to store electricity generated by the sun from their solar panels, and use it when they want. Ikea says that by using storage, an average home can double its solar electricity usage to 80 percent, while electricity bills can be cut by up to 70 percent.
“We’re committed to helping homeowners reap the benefits of going solar and our business partnership with Ikea is a significant step forwards for the renewable energy industry,” said Susannah Wood, head of residential solar at Solarcentury in a statement. “The cost of solar installations has dropped considerably in recent years and is in fact 100 times cheaper than it was 35 years ago.”
Ikea is yet another company with interest in the solar energy space. Google currently has a tool called Project Sunroof, which gives you a customized savings estimate based on the hours of sunlight your area gets per year. It also tells you if your neighbors have panels. Elon Musk’s Tesla, meanwhile, acquired SolarCity last November enabling the billionaire to sell both electric cars and solar roofs to his customers under one corporate brand.