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IKEA and Hanergy make solar energy an affordable reality for all
[National]  Home furnishings expert IKEA teams up with global solar giant Hanergy to make it easier for families across the UK to lead a more sustainable life at home
Homeowners across the UK want to save money on energy bills by installing solar panels but are put off by the price, new figures reveal today.

IKEA quizzed shoppers on sustainable living and discovered many were in the dark about solar energy. Only 6% of homeowners said they had already made the switch to solar panels with almost two thirds saying they were put off by the cost.

The research identified a number of concerns including the “ugly” appearance of solar panels and also confusion around whether there is enough sunshine in the UK to power them. Britons also dramatically underestimated just how much they might earn and save on energy bills with 29% believing they would only save up to £100 whereas the true figure is over £700 a year.

Now, in a move designed to bring home solar into the mainstream, the retailer has teamed up with Hanergy, the solar energy giant, to offer a full solar installation service to its customers at a price they can afford directly from the high-street, cutting out the middle-man. In keeping with the home furnishing company’s commitment to keeping all its prices low, IKEA Family Members can now purchase a standard 3.36kW photovoltaic (PV) system for a semi-detached home for as little as £5700, inclusive of VAT or opt for the leading solar finance package in the UK and pay nothing upfront. Resembling flat screen TVs, the next generation all-black Hanergy solar panels are among the most advanced models on the market.

The nationwide initiative – the first of its kind by a mainstream retailer - kicked off today at IKEA’s Southampton Store in Quay Road and will be rolled out in all 17 IKEA stores across the UK within the next 10 months. IKEA stores across the UK will be dedicating space in store for solar energy experts Hanergy Solar UK to showcase the very real financial benefits of home solar panel systems and enable customers to touch and feel the equipment themselves. In July 2013 a successful pilot began in the Lakeside store, where a PV system is now sold almost every day.

Hanergy, the world’s largest thin-film PV company and solutions provider, has turned its focus to making it easier for homeowners to go solar at the lowest possible price. The full solar service they are now offering in partnership with IKEA will include an in-store consultation and design service as well as expert installation, maintenance and ongoing energy monitoring. Latest figures from Hanergy show that owners of an average semi-detached three-bed home could earn as much as £768* a year through reducing their bills and being paid for the energy they generate under the Government-backed Feed-in Tariff Scheme (FiT). A home solar system remains one of the best investments homeowners can make today with a 14% return, allowing people to pay for the system in roughly 7 years.

IKEA has long taken the lead in developing and promoting products and solutions that help its customers save energy, reduce or sort waste, use less or recycle water – all at the lowest possible price.

Commenting on the announcement, Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability IKEA UK and Ireland said: “At IKEA we’re excited to be able to help customers take positive actions at home for both the environment and their wallets. We know that our customers want to live more sustainably and we hope working with Hanergy to make solar panels affordable and easily available helps them do just that. Evidence shows that installing solar panels enables homeowners to cut their energy bills by up to 50%, and it takes on average only seven years (at current energy prices) to recuperate the money spent on the solar units. We want to make a greener, more sustainable way of life attractive and easy for as many people as possible, so in addition to our collaboration with Hanergy, we’re dedicated to expanding our range of sustainable products that help customers save energy, water and sort waste fourfold by 2020.”

The Hanergy solar offer brings a number of unique benefits direct to homeowners throughout the UK:

• Low cost solar PV finance available in the UK allowing customers to pay nothing upfront
• Next generation 'all black' solar PV panels that look much better on the roof
• Highly trained Solar Advisors who can design a PV System specifically for a home using a simulation tool from within the store
• Straightforward 9-step installation process, fully managed by a personalised Hanergy Web Portal
• Free monitoring system to measure an individual home’s electricity generation and consumption, accessible via the internet or smartphone

Commenting on the new initiative, Toby Ferenczi, co-CEO of Hanergy Solar UK said, ”Our collaboration with IKEA has the right ingredients to become a significant step forward for the renewable energy industry. Both Hanergy and IKEA are convinced that we have the best package for customers on the market to allow homeowners across the UK to profit from energy independence.”

Shoppers can find out more by visiting their participating local IKEA store and speaking to a Hanergy Solar Advisor or by registering their interest and getting a free estimate by visiting Hanergy.co.uk/go-solar. The scheme is being rolled out to all IKEA stores in the next 10 months.

- Ends –

Further information:
Lewis Marshall, IKEA Press Office, +44 (0)845 225 7126, Media.lounge.ie@ikea.com Estee Chaikin, Hanergy Head of Customer, +44 (0) 800 170 7172, press@hanergy.co.uk

Notes to editor

About IKEA

• The IKEA Group is the world’s leading home furnishing retailer with a grand total of 298 IKEA stores in 26 countries/territories that are visited by 690 million people every year. IKEA UK has 18 stores. The first IKEA store in the UK was opened in Warrington in 1987
• IKEA had 41.3 million visitors in the UK stores, in the year to 31 August 2012
• The IKEA Group has 139,000 co-workers in 41 different countries over four continents. There are 7,200 employees currently working at IKEA UK and Ireland organisation. Sales for the IKEA Group for the financial year 2012 increased by 9.5 per cent to a total of 27 billion Euros compared to 2011. More information can be read in ‘Welcome Inside’
• IKEA has a range of 9,500 different home furnishing products. The company was established in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad at the age of 17, in Småland in Sweden
• Solar energy is a key part of IKEA Group’s Sustainability Strategy to renewably produce as much energy as it consumes by 2020. To get closer to that goal, the IKEA Group has set aside €1.5bn for investments in renewable energy up to 2015. The IKEA Group has already installed over 500,000 solar panels on the roof of its own stores across the world.
• Read the IKEA Group’s Sustainability Report for financial year 2012 for an in-depth account of the company’s approach to sustainability, the targets set and what has been achieved • IKEA FAMILY is a loyalty programme for IKEA customers. IKEA FAMILY is open to everyone and is free to join. Members have access to a wide range of benefits, including discounts and offers on IKEA products and services, invitations to special events and free product insurance for the journey home from the IKEA store

About Hanergy

• Hanergy Holding Group Ltd. (Hanergy) is a global clean-energy power generation company and the world's largest thin-film PV company.
• Hanergy covers the entire photovoltaic industry chain, including R&D, high-end equipment manufacturing, PV module production and the construction of photovoltaic power plants.
• Hanergy possesses industry-leading CIGS thin-film PV technology and has the world's largest production capacity of thin-film modules. To date, the company has entered into solar-power plant construction agreements with a combined capacity of approximately 10GW. Its business also covers hydropower and wind power.
• Headquartered in Beijing and with operations across China, the Asia Pacific, North America and Europe, Hanergy employs over 8,000 people


Representative Example:

*Based on a 3.36kW system for a semi-detached home located in Bitterne. 35 degree pitch with south facing roof and 10% shading for a house in Zone 2 according to MCS New PV Guide 1.0 released 07/02/2013.
The total annual benefit is calculated as follows:Annual FIT Generation Tariff calculation: (3088 kWh x 14.9p). Export Tariff calculation: (1544kWh x 4.6p). For customers without smart meters, export is not measured, but deemed at 50%. Electricity bill savings: (1544kWh x 15.32p). Assumes 50% of generation used. Bill savings based on medium user paying 15.32p/unit according to Energy Saving Trust.

100 million.

Estimated number of children the IKEA social projects in partnership with UNICEF, UNDP and Save the Children will have benefited by the end of 2015.

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