IKEA, IKEA, IKEA – the land of rugs sold for dreamy prices and Swiss-inspired design that makes you look so chic it’s almost preposterous (all at a cost that allows you to keep the roof you’re decorating over your head, that is). It’s a magical place. So magical, in fact, that they even outfit Jon Snow, King of the North, with enough fluffy fur to give him the gusto to head north of the wall (TBD how wise of a decision that is in the first place). Recently, though, the meatball makers and furniture gurus, have stepped slightly outside of the box of trés cute kitchens and decor that is just too affordable not to pay for by the bucketful to intervene in your home in a more serious, and certainly productive, way: solar panels.
First thing’s first, and I have to give credit where credit is due – IKEA is no stranger to renewable energy sources. In fact, their buildings, located all around the world, are running right now thanks to the installation of tens of thousands of solar panels channeling sunshine into precious energy. Kudos. But, IKEA, as it turns out, won’t stop there. Available initially in the UK , IKEA plans to introduce a new solar battery storage product that will be available for purchase by consumers.
The unit, which has been designed in cahoots with solar firm Solarcentury is meant to be used alongside existing solar panels and/or with a “new combined solar and battery storage system,” according to the store. More or less, it’s meant to help those who already have solar panels harness more energy or help those just setting up a solar panel system to create one that is efficient. As excitedly announced on Solarcentury’s website:
“From today, online customers will be able to buy solar battery storage as well as solar panels direct from IKEA. A combined solar home storage and panel installation can deliver annual electricity bills savings of up to 70%.”
The system this gives consumers access too is monumental. Solar power is relatively successful at converting the sun’s energy into energy to power appliances, lights, outlets, and more around the house – but its obvious downfall is that the sun only shines sometimes. IKEA has reported that, on average, only 40% of the electricity consumers use is used during the day. Therefore, access to a battery storage system that can capture and store energy for later use means increased consumption of solar energy (you’re welcome, world). IKEA claims that this will change an average home’s solar consumption from 40% to 80%.
Customers need not fret over the life of their investment, either. TechCrunch confirms that the gizmos come with a 25-year guarantee on the panels themselves alongside a 6-year warranty on installation and the nitty gritty of the hardware itself. As it stands in UK prices, installations will definitely be on the more luxury-end of IKEA’s offerings, starting at around $4,000. The company has promised to be an easy go-to for customers wanting to turn to solar energy, offering fast, free, and easy quotes.
As Ikea carefully saunters into a new realm of home offerings, they put themselves in direct competition with other solar market players. Namely, they will be now be neck in neck with Tesla, which since acquiring SolarCity, has been offering solar solutions (Tesla Powerwall products).
While I first fell in love with IKEA for their design savvy items within my budget, later became disenchanted with them as I not-so-silently cursed them while I realized I was not, at all, a natural at furniture assembly – nor did I read Swedish, I am now coming around to the fact that they just might be “the good guys” after all. I mean, first they find a way to make my Northern man (yeah, I’m referring to Jon Snow as “mine”) look good wrapped in a rug, and now they’re out to save the world one household at a time? Okay, guys, I’ll forgive the whole put-the-square-peg-in-the-round-hole style instructions. I’m on team IKEA once more.