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IKEA Solar Panels

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Why Solarcentury?

Solarcentury is one of the world’s most trusted, respected and long-standing solar companies. Solarcentury was founded in 1998 and has been integral to the development of today’s solar industry. 


How is Solarcentury involved? Am I buying from them?

IKEA has selected Solarcentury to deliver our home solar offer. IKEA and Solarcentury are committed to making solar electricity easy for you. Together we have built packages that will suit your home and your pocket. The installation is managed entirely by Solarcentury and you will be buying your system from Solarcentury.


Does Solarcentury use contractors?

Yes - in order to provide as local a service as possible Solarcentury use their approved network of installers to carry out the installations.
 
Many of them have worked with Solarcentury for many years and we are confident in their ability to deliver high quality installations in a professional, friendly and safe manner. They are all certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

How long will the whole process take?

The average timescale from the decision to proceed with home solar to a fully-operational system is usually 4-6 weeks, subject to your availability. The actual installation usually takes between one and two days. Some installations (for example larger systems or delicate slate roofs) may take longer.


Do I need a large roof?

No, our smallest system size is made up of just 6 solar panels which take up less than 10sq metres on your roof.


Does my roof have to face directly south?

No, although a south facing roof provides the best production of energy. We can install on roofs from East (90°) through South (180°) to West (270°).

Why not try our handy online calculator to see if your roof is suitable/ to see if your roof can save £100s on your electricity bill? IKEA.co.uk/solar


Can you install on my business premises?

Yes, we can install on any property you own as long as the total installed capacity is no larger than 10kwp.

Please note there may be a tax implication associated with installing solar on a business premises.


How does IKEA home solar and battery storage work?

The sun’s irradiation hits your solar panels and is converted into energy. This energy travels to a device called an inverter, which converts it into usable household electricity (just like the electricity supplied by your utility company). If you choose to add battery storage, you can use your solar electricity whenever you like.

An average household in the UK will typically consume around 40% (less than half) of the electricity generated by their solar panels, even less if they are out during the day.
 
The remaining 60% of unused electricity is sent back to the National Grid. By adding battery storage, this unused energy can be stored and used when needed, doubling the amount of produced energy to 80%! 

The remaining 20% goes back to the national grid.You can monitor your system’s performance over the web or via a dedicated display.
 

Is there a regulating body for solar in the UK?

Yes, both Solarcentury and all of their installers are governed by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This determines the standards for installation and Solarcentury is audited annually to ensure compliance. In addition, Solarcentury is a member of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC).  RECC aims to guarantee a high quality experience for consumers wishing to buy or lease small-scale energy generation systems for their homes.  If you have any queries regarding RECC you can find the contact details for RECC here.


Can I buy from you on a supply only basis?

No, we are only able to supply a full service including installation of the product.


I already have a solar thermal system; can I still have a solar PV installation too?

As long as there is space on your roof there is nothing to stop you having both solar thermal and solar photovoltaics.


I have an existing system, can you expand it?

In many circumstances we can still install even if you have an existing system. We would not add to your existing system but could install a new system alongside it. This will need to be discussed on a case by case basis with our technical team.


Can I store the energy I don't use?

Yes you can, we currently offer a battery storage solution. This means that you can store the extra electricity you use instead of feeding it back to the grid. If you would like to find out how much a solar system with a storage option could cost you, why not try our calculator? Visit ikea.co.uk/solar


What is the difference between black panels and blue panels (monocrystalline and polycrystalline)?

Monocrystalline PV panels are made from a single crystal of silicon and are typically black in colour. The process to produce these panels is more expensive but they are usually more efficient. Polycrystalline PV panels are made from multiple crystals and are blue in colour. They are cheaper to produce and are usually less powerful than monocrystalline panels. 


Will the solar panels provide energy during a power cut?

Generally no, for safety reasons your system will be shut off. However, some systems with a storage solution may be able to access their stored energy, depending on their system’s connection to the grid.


Does solar work in the UK?

Yes. Solar panels generate in all daylight hours and all but extremely overcast weather. The clearer the sky the better, but they rely on daylight not temperature so will generate all year round. Winter generation will be significantly lower than summer due to fewer daylight hours. June and July typically produce 4-5 times more energy than December and January.


Is my home suitable?

Points to consider:

Ownership. Do you own your home? If a leasehold then you need permission from freeholder. If rented then you need permission from your landlord.

Flats/apartments can be tricky re: freehold.  Please refer to the uSwitch solar guide for more information.

Flat roofs – currently we don’t offer solar installations for flat roofs.

Space for the system – you need a fair amount of clear roof space to fit the system (circa 10sqm plus). We will be able to assess this in the early stages.

Direction – South-facing roofs generate the most electricity, but solar still works on roofs facing from east to west.

Shading – the more shading on a roof, the less energy a system will generate. We take into account trees, dormer windows, chimneys, extensions and neighbouring buildings when surveying the roof. If system is very shaded then we wouldn’t recommend going ahead. In some cases it’s possible to do something about it e.g. cutting back a tree you own.

Age and construction of the roof: We can only install if the roof is felted beneath the tiles or slates.


Do I need planning permission?

In most cases no, however, if your home is a listed building, in a conservation area then you will need to check first with your local planning officer.


Do I need a structural survey?

Most homes do not need a structural survey; if the surveyor finds one is required before the installation we will inform you of this.


How do I know my roof is strong enough?

The surveyor will ensure your roof is structurally sound enough to support the installation. If there are any concerns we will inform you.


Will the panels provide all of my home’s electricity needs?

Depending on the size of your solar system it’s more than likely that the solar system will provide all the electricity you need during the day and that you will typically only need to use grid electricity during the night. This will obviously depend upon the system size installed and just how much demand for electricity you have during the day. 


Will I notice if my home is using solar-generated or grid power?

Not unless you want to. The energy generated by the solar panels will be used by your home first. If there is not enough to meet demand, the grid will automatically and seamlessly provide the rest. If you upgrade to our GEO monitoring system it will tell you whether or not you are using solar or grid electricity.


What is the Feed-in Tariff (FiT)?

The Feed-in Tariff (or FiT) is a government policy introduced in 2010 to encourage the uptake of renewable energy in the UK. You are paid for the units of electricity you generate from a solar installation, regardless of whether you use the electricity or not. You are also paid for what you export to the grid but because this is hard to measure, the government assumes you export 50%.

The income is guaranteed for 20 years and is index-linked, meaning it will go up each year with inflation. And unlike many other investments, it’s also tax-free for homeowners.

As well as generating revenue, you are also able to save money as you will not be buying as much energy from the grid during the day. 


I'm concerned the government will totally withdraw the Feed-in Tariff (FiT); do you think this will happen?

The FiT scheme was introduced in 2010 and has seen many changes since then.  It will not last forever as it is an incentive to encourage people to invest in solar.  However, the FiT is still currently available and, once you have applied and your application is accepted, your income from it will continue for the full 20 year period, even once the FiT scheme is closed to new applications.


How much will I receive?

The rates paid for the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) change periodically and are set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).  You can view the latest Tariff on the Ofgem website here.


Do I have to pay tax on my Feed-in Tariff (FiT) income?

No, the FIT scheme is a non-taxable scheme for domestic use.  However, if you run a VAT registered company from the property the FIT is claimed for then VAT will be added to your export payment.


Will my Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payments change with inflation?

Yes, FIT payments are adjusted at the end of each year; in April, the generation and the export tariff are adjusted based on the rate of RPI at the end of December. 


Can I offset my Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payments against my standard electricity bills?

No, your FIT payments will be kept separately to your billing account.


Who do I go to get my Feed-in tariff (FiT)?

You can get your FiT from your current energy provider or you can approach another provider because your FiT account will always be kept separately from your existing utilities account.


How do I receive my payments from the Feed in Tariff (FiT)?

Your registered FiT licensed supplier will usually pay you on a quarterly basis. You’ll have to provide them with meter readings in order for them to pay you.


Do I always have to supply the meter reading?

Generally yes. You will be asked to supply a meter reading every 3 months or so.  Your supplier will also visit you up to once every two years to read the meter in accordance with the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) registration license. 


What happens if I miss a meter reading?

Unlike electricity usage readings suppliers cannot estimate Feed-in Tariff (FiT) readings; this means your payment for that quarter will be rolled over.  Generally, suppliers will take the next meter read you provide and you will receive your full FiT amount owed on your next payment.


What happens if I change my electricity supplier after I register my Feed-in Tariff (FiT)?

This does not necessarily affect your FiT.  You can choose to stay with the supplier you registered your FIT with originally or you can decide to change to your new supplier (a process known as ‘switching’).  Your original supplier will be able to help you with this.


What happens if I move home?

If the PV installation remains on the original property the new homeowner will be able to claim the remainder of the FiT.  If you remove the installation and take it with you to install on your new property you will not be able to claim the FiT for it as it was originally registered elsewhere.


Why is it important for IKEA to invest in battery storage?

We want to provide our customers with innovative solutions that will help them live a more sustainable life at home and to save money in the long-term.
 
Our decision to invest in battery storage is really important, we know it broadens the appeal of solar as it makes it even more cost-effective and gives people greater control over their energy bills.
 
Traditionally, solar has been most useful to those at home who use their appliances during the day, but now those who are out of the house all day can collect and store the excess energy from their solar panels and use it during the night and on cloudy days. 
 
We also practice what we preach – to help tackle climate change, we want our operations to become energy independent. By August 2020, the IKEA Group will produce as much renewable energy as we consume in our operations.
 
We have already installed over 46,000 solar panels on
ten IKEA stores in the UK and we feel it’s a natural step to give our customers the opportunity to
do the same.

What’s different about the offer from IKEA and Solarcentury? How does it compare to the competition?

We believe no-one else is offering the domestic market such a comprehensive range of solar options (including battery storage) that match the different needs of UK households with price, power and aesthetics.

Is IKEA the first major retailer in the UK to introduce battery storage?

We believe no-one else is offering such a comprehensive range of solar options and battery storage on the domestic market, matching the different needs of UK households with price, power and aesthetics.

What solar products does IKEA currently offer and what do they cost?

The Rooftop option starts from £3750*. It’s a low-cost package of blue panels for a fixed price. The Rooftop PLUS option starts from £4,200*. This customisable package of black panels optimises energy production and maximises your investment.

The Built-in PLUS option starts from £5,250*. This option is designed for an elegant, integrated
look.

  • All systems include installation and warranties
  • Add battery storage to any system for as little as £2,935
  • Optional extras include the ability to monitor your solar system from your phone or computer

*Prices quoted include the 15% IKEA FAMILY discount and are based on a typical 3kWp system.


Will battery storage work with my current solar panel system?

For those canny consumers who already have solar on their homes, Solarcentury have battery solutions that can be retro-fitted to existing installations.

How much money can I save on my electricity bills by using IKEA solar battery storage?

With the average household electricity bill coming in at £584* (Source: DECC), homeowners who install solar panels could benefit by £380 in the first year after purchase.  Average households consume only 40% of the electricity their system generates, add battery storage and this on average doubles to 80%.

Add battery storage and save up to 70% on your electricity bill**

*Based on a property is in London with a south-facing pitched roof which is 10% shaded, family at home only in the afternoon during the week using 3,300 kWh of electricity, 12 panel system installed, 6.5kWh battery system installed, total installed price: £8,750 including VAT at 5% and with a 15% IKEA Family discount, generation tariff of 4.07p rising with RPI of 2.5% per annum, export tariff of 5.03p rising with RPI of 2.5% per annum, price per kWh for grid electricity at 16p rising at 5% price inflation per annum, solar module degradation at 0.7% per year
 
**Battery storage allows households to use more of the electricity their system generates and allows electricity savings of up to 70%.

How long does it take to recoup the investment?

It will take an average homeowner who purchases a solar panel and battery storage system 12 years to regain their initial outlay. This takes into account the FiT of 20 years and inflation.

How do I purchase solar panels and battery storage from IKEA?

Homeowners can purchase home solar in few easy steps:
 
1. get a basic estimate on the on-line calculator at: IKEA.co.uk/solar
 
 
2.Request a more accurate quote from Solarcentury; an adviser will answer any questions you have
 
3. If you wish to proceed, you can set up payment and a time for a survery and install. From provisional quote to installation takes an average of 6 weeks and can be completed in as little as two weeks. Installation iself usually takes one day. 
 
 

What warranty does the solar battery storage from IKEA come with?

Battery storage has a 10 year product warranty and the installation carries a six-year, insurance backed warranty from Solarcentury.

We have carefully audited our supply chain and strive to only work with the best. Comprehensive warranty details will be described in your quote.

Is solar still a good investment given the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) was cut in 2016?

The FiT is a government programme introduced in 2010 to encourage the uptake of renewable energy in the UK.

It rewards you for any energy you generate from a solar installation, regardless of whether you use the electricity or not. Despite the recent changes to the Government-backed Feed-in Tariff Scheme, a home solar and storage battery system remains one of the best investments a homeowner can make today with an annual 6% return, allowing people to pay off the capital invested in the system in roughly 12 years, meanwhile generating free, clean energy.


Why is now a good time to invest in solar?

As electricity prices rise, and the cost of battery storage and solar keeps falling, it is likely that more homeowners will fit solar and storage technologies in their home. As well as enjoying lower energy bills and more independence from the grid, combining solar and storage enables homeowners to live more sustainably, and also get more value from their solar panels.


Do solar panels add any value onto the price of a home?

According to the Solar Trade Association, Developers and housebuilders do not yet market any of the additional benefits new solar homes offer over their competition (existing homes without solar) and adopt a very risk averse approach to the provision of information to the customer. 

However, according to National Association of Estate Agents: “Solar panels can indeed affect the value of a property, in both a positive and negative way. If the panels are new technology, show significant savings and are aesthetically acceptable, they may very well boost value. However, in some instances, the agreement which ties respective owners into old technology is onerous and could well affect the value of a property in a negative way.

This is most often the case where the solar system is owned by a third party rather than the homeowner.

Won’t this technology be dated in a few years?

The solar and battery storage we are selling is designed for a long life and designed to work robustly for many years in your home. We can expect both solar and batteries to improve continuously but we expect these improvements to be incremental.


Do the storage batteries need to be replaced after 10 years?

Though storage battery warranty lasts for 10 years we would expect the battery to last for longer, however battery life depends on individual usage. Homeowners should expect to replace the battery over the lifetime of their solar system.

Batteries are polluting, is this really good for the environment?

Producing and storing electricity at the point of use has an amazing benefit for the environment; not only because the electricity is generated is renewable (rather than fossil fuels), but also because the amount of electricity lost in transmission is dramatically reduced.

The reason the Government is now getting behind battery storage is because of the significant benefits for the grid if generation and storage is distributed rather than centralised.Overall, the amount of electricity we need to produce as a country will reduce and the hitherto uneven effects of having solar and wind come into the system will be managed through storage.

The more solar we produce collectively, the less coal is used. And now we can reduce the amount of coal that is used at night by installing batteries. Batteries will be carefully managed at end of life and recycled by the manufacturer.


How long have battery storage solutions been on the UK market for?

Off-grid storage systems have been around for many, many years. The type of lithium battery we supply has been available for about two years and pricing has come down to enough to make sense for the consumer.


You refer to savings and benefits – what is the difference here?

According to our calculations, an average household can benefit from £560 a year which is a combination of the savings they would make on their electricity bill combined with the income they would generate from sending unused solar back to the grid. Homeowners can save up to 70% on their electricity bills by installing Solar Battery Storage.


How important is sustainability to IKEA?

Sustainability is at the heart of the long-term business model of IKEA, and reflected in our People and Planet Positive strategy. The strategy sets out ambitious sustainability targets to drive innovation, transform our business and shape our investments to ensure our business is a force for good across all our operations. Rather than simply reducing harmful impacts, we aim to make a positive difference for our customers, co-workers, suppliers and the planet.

When did it start to become an important part of your strategy?

Sustainability has been a core value for IKEA since we were founded in 1943. Making more from less and treating people well is a big part of our heritage. It’s has been one of the four cornerstones driving our business for a number of years.


Tell me about the IKEA People and Planet Positive Strategy and how it influences the UK?

At IKEA, we want to have a positive impact on people and the planet. Our People & Planet positive Strategy has three focus areas, inspire and enable millions of customers to live a more sustainable life at home, strive for resource and energy independence and take a lead in creating a better life for the people and communities impacted by our business.
 
It’s all about taking many steps, both small and large, that together will have a transformational impact. In 2016, we produced renewable energy equivalent to 43.4% of the energy we used. Through our Live LAGOM programme, we’ve already helped many customers to live more sustainably at home and in 2016, we saw a 13.3% increase in sales of products that enable a more sustainable life compared to the previous year. In FY16, we also reached our goal of zero waste to landfill four years ahead of target, which is a huge collective achievement.

What is your overall sustainability objective?

Our vision, to create a better everyday life for the many people, is intrinsic to our People and Planet Positive sustainability strategy. We want to do our utmost to be a leader in sustainable, affordable life at home by inspiring and enabling customers and co-workers, and by being a leading responsible business.
 
We’re already taking huge strides with our People and Planet Positive Strategy and as we continue to grow as a business, it’s a great opportunity to inspire more people with ideas and solutions for sustainable living.

You say you are going all-in to tackle climate change. What are you actually doing?

Renewable energy in our operations. On a Global level in FY16, we generated renewable energy equivalent to 71% of the energy we used. And in the UK, we produced renewable energy equivalent to 43.4% of the energy we used. Globally, we aim to produce as much renewable energy as the energy we use in our operations by 2020.

We also work hard to increase energy and carbon efficiency, both in our own operations and with our suppliers.

All-in for LED
Our entire lighting range is now LED or compatible with LED bulbs. In FY16, we sold over 2.3 million LED bulbs in the UK and Ireland. We estimate that this has saved our customers £19.5 million in household energy bills and avoided 42,317 tonnes of CO 2 emissions.
 
Policy and advocacy
At a Global level, we were present at the COP21 climate change summit to share the actions we are taking and to emphasise the importance of bold policy measures for IKEA and other businesses. We are also part of RE100, an initiative of leading influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power.