Ikea’s full home solar offer arrives in Australia

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From pv magazine Australia

From this week, IKEA has started offering Australian customers solar panels from its online store, making it the first market outside of Europe to get access to the sustainable offer. 

The new Ikea home solar offer, Solstrale (which translates to Sunbeam), is made in collaboration with Solargain, one of Australia’s leading solar energy providers. Solargain CEO Keera Single said that the Ikea partnership is the ideal way to pursue the company’s vision of helping more Australians to experience the benefits of solar energy.

“In working with a retailer like Ikea, we believe we can reach more households that are able to make the switch to solar,” Single said.

Ikea has been selling turnkey solar systems to its customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and Italy since June last year. But this is the first time Australian customers have been eligible to such an easy solar-purchase process. 

“Today’s launch marks an important day in the IKEA Australia organization,” said Ikea Australia CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer Jan Gardberg. “And we hope that this will encourage our customers to live a more sustainable everyday life by removing the barriers to investing in renewable energy.” 

The Solstrale system can cost anywhere between AU$3,500 ($2,425) to AU$7,000, depending on the size of the array. For AU$3,500, you get a 3 kW system, which Ikea estimates would pay itself off in approximately four years. 

Interestingly, a unique feature of the Solstrale deal for the Australian market is that the panels come with a five-year guarantee that the system will produce at least 80% of what was quoted in a customer’s initial estimate. 

Turnkey solar

Ikea entered the solar market in 2014 through its residential rooftop kits, to which it added energy storage options in 2017. In 2018, pv magazine caught up with Signe Antvorskov Krag, global development leader of Ikea Home Solar Business, to discuss the global retailer’s solar business model. 

The model itself is simple: find a Tier-1 supplier and an EPC company in the local market, and then deliver a turnkey solar solution that takes all the complexity out of home solar installation. According to Krag, the two biggest challenges to mass retail solar is spreading the word and showing customers that solar installation is not a complex burden they’ll have to undertake and upkeep themselves. 

Each custom designed Solstrale system includes Trina Solar panels, a Growatt inverter, mounting system, and full Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installation. Customers can also trick out their system with energy storage, smart meters or microinverters.

Ikea also sells PV modules in Europe. Its turnkey home solar offer is available in Sweden, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the U.K.