Coming Soon to IKEA Shelves: Solar Panels

Don't worry: you won't have to install them yourself

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 30, 2013 3:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – IKEA is perhaps best known for flogging flat-packs of unpronounceable but affordable furniture and modestly-priced meatballs, but the Swedish-owned retailer will soon be adding a surprising new item to its UK stores: solar panels. At $9,200 for a pack of 18 panels, the product will be pricier than most IKEA items, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal report. But the company says it's still cheaper than the prices their competitors charge, and promises buyers they'll make their investment back in about seven years thanks to lower bills and government incentives, the Journal reports.

One IKEA case study of a semi-detached house with a south-facing roof in the UK estimates the panels would generate about $1,200 a year for the owners through savings and subsidies, reports Reuters. "You don't have to care about the environment and climate change, you can just care about the finances," IKEA's sustainability chief tells the Journal. And unlike the company's bookshelves and desks, buyers won't have to tackle the solar panels with an Allen key themselves—installation and maintenance is part of the package.

An exterior view of the Ikea furniture store in Duisburg, western Germany.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
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