IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, has announced plans to sell home solar panels in the US — a move that could democratize and demystify access to solar.
Solar hesitancy: The benefits of solar go beyond protecting the environment — solar panels are cheaper than ever, and between the lower energy bills and government subsidies, a home solar system could pay for itself before the panels need to be replaced.
Despite that, only 3.2% of single-family detached homes have solar panels, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Many homeowners are hesitant to purchase home solar systems because the cost and installation process can be confusing. Financing arrangements can be complicated, and some create liens on the panels, which can make for headaches when buying and selling the home.
The future is bright: In Fall 2022, IKEA plans to launch Home Solar with IKEA at select stores in California, by far the leading US state for residential solar.
Through the initiative, members of IKEA’s free customer loyalty program will be able purchase home solar solutions through SunPower, a residential solar tech company.
“SunPower is creating solar offerings exclusively for IKEA US, and information about the products and services will be available to customers in-store and online,” a SunPower spokesperson told Electrek.
IKEA’s announcement doesn’t elaborate on the benefits of purchasing a system through the program versus going directly to SunPower.
However, IKEA was already offering home solar in 11 other markets prior to the US launch, and customers have lauded those programs for their simple buying process, fast installation, and the cost savings for using their IKEA membership.
The bottom line: IKEA is already a household name that many people trust, so if it can offer the same benefits to US customers as its international ones, it’s easy to imagine many homeowners deciding to go through the company to add solar panels to their rooftops.
“The launch of Home Solar with IKEA will allow more people to take greater control of their energy needs, and our goal is to offer the clean energy service at additional IKEA locations in the future,” said Javier Quiñones, IKEA US’s CEO and chief sustainability officer.
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