IKEA to start selling solar panels at stores in Britain

Sept. 30, 2013 at 10:11 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Swedish home-furnishings giant IKEA announced Monday it plans to begin offering solar panels at stores in Britain.

The panels would be available at 17 stores, The Wall Street Journal reported. Steve Howard, the chain's executive in charge of sustainability, said several panels would be sold in a package for 5,700 pounds ($9,200), making them a major expense for most potential buyers.

The Journal said the eventual market is huge, but for most consumers the payoff is likely to be too long term at the moment. IKEA said its margins will be smaller than on most of its products.

Howard said buyers will be able to get their money back within seven years by saving money on electricity, getting government incentives for having the panels and possibly selling electricity to the grid.

"You don't have to care about the environment and climate change, you can just care about the finances," Howard said.

On the plus side for buyers, especially those sometimes frustrated by putting together IKEA furniture, the chain will install the panels.

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