By Drew Prindle
At around this same date back in 2013, IKEA changed up its game. In addition to its usual offering of flat-pack furniture and meatballs, the company began selling low-cost solar panels to customers in Britain — a somewhat puzzling move considering the country’s general lack of sunshine. It must’ve worked out though, as IKEA CEO Peter Agnefjäll announced today that the company plans to expand its residential solar offering to eight more countries over the next 18 months.
“We know that our customers want to save energy and live more sustainably at home, but we believe they shouldn’t spend more money or time to do so. That is why we are determined to make sustainability both affordable and attractive to as many people as possible. I am delighted that we can now commit to bringing affordable home solar to a further eight countries, starting with the Netherlands and Switzerland,” said Agnefjäll.
This expansion essentially represents stage two of IKEA’s grand plan to make residential solar power more accessible across the globe. Stage one was getting things off the ground in Britain — a location IKEA chose specifically as its first test market due to the country’s mid-level electricity prices and ample government-sponsored financial incentives that make investing in solar energy an attractive prospect to consumers.
Now that the venture has proven successful, stage two begins with bringing solar panels to IKEA stores in the Netherlands and Sweden. The company is remaining tight-lipped on the remaining six locations that will follow, but we assume that the bulk of them will be in nearby European countries.
The solar systems will be available in the first store in the Netherlands by late October and in the first Swiss store by mid December, through a partnership with Chinese solar manufacturer Hanergy. The most basic 3.36 kW system will put you back just over £5,000 (~$8,200), but for your money you get an in-store consultation, installation, maintenance, and energy monitoring service.