Say Välkommen to solar power! If you need another reason to visit your local Ikea, just look up. The fast furniture giant is beginning to sell solar panels in California this fall and plans to expand the service in the near future.
Ikea has partnered with SunPower, a large U.S.-based solar energy company to supply rooftop solar panel systems and installations to California customers. Ikea is not new to solar power, of course. It sold solar panel systems in the U.K. for a couple of years before installation grew too expensive and government subsidies became less supportive. It also uses rooftop solar power systems at 90% of its locations.
Accessible solar panels are great options for consumers. Installing solar power systems helps owners to save tons of money on electricity and makes them eligible for tax credits. These benefits are locked behind a substantial paywall of standard panel installation; but as costs fall and the process becomes easier to navigate, more and more people should take advantage of solar.
“At IKEA, we’re passionate about helping our customers live a more sustainable life at home,” said Javier Quiñones, CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA US, in a recent press release. “Our goal is to offer the clean energy service at additional IKEA locations in the future.”
The retailer’s solar panel installations could be a huge boost to the adoption of renewable energy in the U.S., but the fast-furniture industry’s sustainability claims have been met with some skepticism.
Ikea is the largest individual consumer of wood in the world, and its fast-furniture model encourages waste, according to Earthsite. The immense amount of logging needed to supply the company and its low prices add up to a lot of pollution from production. And while Ikea has been pushing for sustainable practices, critics say the business still faces challenges.
IKEA’s Home Solar program will begin servicing sunny California roofs as soon as this fall.