Is Now the Time for Solar Panels for All? Ikea Thinks So

IKEA is now selling residential solar panelThe forecast for energy savings is bright in Britain: Bargain furnishings giant Ikea announced it will start selling solar panels at its U.K. stores. Image: IKEA

The retailer plans to sell solar panel systems at its U.K. stores. Is the U.S next?

When you pop over to Ikea to get your akurum kitchen cabinets, an ullgump rug, or a plate of Swedish meatballs, you can pick up a couple of solar panels, too. At least in the U.K.

I guess Britain isn’t as overcast as it’s reputed to be!

Ikea just announced it’ll begin selling photovoltaic (PV) solar panels at its stores across the pond. A 3.36kW system to power a medium-size, three-bedroom home will cost about £5,700 ($9,200). If you don’t have the up-front cash, the bargain furnishings store will offer a financial package.

Will Ikea panels come to the U.S.? It’s likely. Major retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s already offer panels, and many solar companies are offering financial incentives, such as lease options.

Plus, there’s a glut of PVs in China manufacturing plants, which has helped drive down the cost of panels by some 60% over the past three years and helped bring about the Ikea deal, according to news reports.

How Does the Ikea Price Compare?

Prices in the U.S. vary depending on system size, but we found one quote for a 4kW “medium-sized system” for a three-bedroom home estimated at about $17,000, after rebates and tax credits.

Does Solar Make Sense Now?

Maybe. If you get at least five hours a day of sunlight, you’re trying to reduce your energy bills, you can handle the cost, and you think it could be a marketable feature when you go to sell (check with a REALTOR® in your market about that), this might be the time.

In the U.S., the feds are offering an energy tax credit on solar for 30% of its cost through 2016. You also might find rebates from your state or utility from the DSIRE database.

By the way, in the U.K., the government pays homeowners for the electricity they generate from solar PV systems.

What’s Included in the British Ikea Price?

  • Consultation
  • Installation
  • Ongoing service by Chinese energy giant and Ikea’s solar partner, Hanergy Holdings Group

IKEA predicts that energy savings will allow the panels to pay for themselves in about seven years. So if you’re saving money on energy, you can buy more lansas. (That means drawer handles in Ikea.)

Related:Repurpose old Ikea stuff