IKEA Is Stepping Up Its Green Game With This New Product

mbg Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."

Photo by Harald Walker

The latest IKEA product doesn't fit in a big blue bag, and it definitely won't come with a building manual.

This week, the furniture retailer announced plans to sell solar panels and battery storage out of its U.K. locations. Sweden (where IKEA got its start) is already running on nearly 60 percent renewable energy, and the brand hopes to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes in operations by 2020. By offering solar technology in stores, IKEA is inviting consumers to make similar commitments.

"We have already installed over 700,000 solar panels on our stores and buildings, and we feel it’s a natural step to give our customers the opportunity to do the same," reads the IKEA website. To do so, they've partnered with U.K.-based Solar Century to quote and install the panels. With the price of solar at an all-time low, the starting ask for a standard rooftop system falls around £4,850 ($6,371) including installation. Deluxe packages integrate panels into roofs and hook them up to users' phones and computers for monitoring. Shoppers can also add a battery to the mix, allowing them to store excess energy for later use. The U.K. Feed-in Tariffs program grants a small amount of tax-free income for solar electricity generated at home, making the decision to go solar even more cost-efficient.

IKEA claims that when all is said and done, solar customers can save up to £560 ($735) a year. The carbon savings are notable, too: One system is equivalent to about 55 new trees planted in your backyard.

Here's hoping solar panel aisles soon becomes staples in locations around the world.

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