IKEA may be known for its moderately priced, Swedish-inspired furniture - but the company also devotes a large portion of their time to sustainability practices. And starting soon, the company will sell solar panels directly to customers in the UK.
Reuters reports that the panels should come to all of its 17 UK-based stores within the next 10 months. The panels are being manufactured in China, by the Hanergy Group.
The minimum investment customers will be able to make is an 18-panel unit, which will run 5,700 pounds ($9,230).
But IKEA is marketing this as a money-saver. Based on current UK subsidies for solar panel use and average energy savings, IKEA says that customers could save as much at 770 pounds a year. If that proved to be true, the solar panels could pay for themselves in under a decade.
"We know that our customers want to live more sustainably and we hope working with Hanergy to make solar panels affordable and easily available helps them do just that," said IKEA's Joanna Yarrow.
This move by IKEA shouldn't be too much of a shocker, considering the company's passionate focus on sustainability - evidenced by their annual report they've being publishing for the last few years.
"IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment," says the company.
IKEA has already installed of 300,000 solar panels themselves, and this step is all about making the same technology available to their customers. The company has a lofty goal of being completely energy independent by the year 2020.
In other IKEA sustainability news - earlier this month, the IKEA Group announced that they were going to incorporate geothermal technology into the heating and cooling system at their new Kansas City store, set to open next year. IKEA has such geothermal systems installed in around 50 locations worldwide.
Image via Gerard Stolk, Flickr