From today, 10 June onwards, IKEA is now offering Australian customers solar panels from its online store, the first market outside of Europe to get access to this sustainable offer.
The new Ikea home solar offer, Solstråle (which translates to Sunbeam), is made in collaboration with Solargain, one of Australia’s leading solar energy providers and a determined player in the game of helping power families with solar. Late last year Solargain helped the appositely named Golden family of Melbourne’s Clifton Hill live up to their name by helping them take advantage of Solar Victoria’s Solar Rebate Scheme and installing 24 Q Cells Q.Peak Duo-G5 325W modules atop their inner-suburban rooftop.
Solargain CEO Keera Single said that the Ikea partnership is the ideal way to pursue the company’s vision of helping more Australians experience the benefits of solar energy. “In working with a retailer like Ikea,” Single said, “we believe we can reach more households that are able to make the switch to solar.”
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 organisation,” 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 Solstråle system can cost anywhere between $3,500-$7,000 depending on the size of the array. $3,500 will get you a 3kW system which Ikea estimates would pay itself off via its savings in approximately four years.
Interestingly, a unique feature of the Solstråle deal for the Australian market sees 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.
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 Ikea Home Solar Business, to discuss the global retailer’s solar business model.
The model itself is simple, find a tier-1 supplier and a 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 Solstråle 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 is a global leader in renewable integration
Among giant global companies, Ikea has been at the forefront of ambitious sustainable practices. By the end of this year the company will be producing as much renewable energy as it consumes, and has set itself the goal of being climate positive by 2030. Worldwide, the company has deployed over €1.5 billion into renewable generation projects, owning and operating over 400 wind turbines and installing over 900,000 solar panels on its properties, including 20,000 on its locations in Australia.
In December 2019, Queensland realised its first 100% electric delivery vehicle when Ikea’s newest form of transport hit the road. Indeed, Ikea has set out to transition its entire fleet to EVs by 2025. This is no small task. I was once told, perhaps apocryphally, that in some parts of the world, the U.S. I suspect, Ikea prefers to use unmarked white trucks rather than employing the well-known “IKEA” emblazoned vehicles. Because if the public were aware of the sheer number of Ikea delivery trucks on the roads they would fret that the Swedes had invaded. Of course, Ikea already has invaded, invaded our homes, and now it’s trying to make them more sustainable.
As of June 10 Solstråle is available to Aussie customers in Western Australia (WA), Queensland (QLD), and Victoria. Though the remaining states and territories can expect to be eligible in the very near future. To get your Solstråle quote, click here.