IKEA is releasing a line of home solar products this fall to members of its customer loyalty program.
The Swedish retailer is partnering with SunPower, a California-based company that sells and installs solar power products such as solar panels.
The product line, called “Home Solar,” will first be available in select California stores starting this fall.
According to Javier Quinones, CEO and chief sustainability officer of IKEA U.S., the goal is to offer the clean energy service at additional IKEA locations in the future.
“The launch of Home Solar with IKEA will allow more people to take greater control of their energy needs,” he said.
IKEA’s goal is to become circular and climate-positive by 2030, according to a news release.
The retailer currently has rooftop solar on 90 percent of IKEA locations, in addition to the following renewable energy efforts in the U.S.:
- Two wind farms
- Two solar farms
- Two geothermal systems
- Seven biogas fuel cells
IKEA is No. 5 on the retailer list of the Environmental Protection Agency’s top 30 Green Power Partnerships.
The GPP was established in 2001 to encourage organizations to use green power voluntarily to protect human health and the environment, according to the EPA.
The No. 1 spot belongs to Walmart, followed by Target, Starbucks, and ALDI.
Earlier this year, a California Target store covered its carports with solar panels to power the entire store.
Walmart’s goal is to reach 100% renewable energy by 2035 and achieve zero emissions across its operations by 2040.
IKEA used to offer solar products in the United Kingdom, but these sales ended in 2019 following a change in government subsidies.
Environmental experts hope IKEA’s moves mark continuing efforts to make solar products more readily available for consumers.
Studies show solar panels have a contagious effect in neighborhoods, where if one person adds solar to a roof, others are more likely to follow.
Experts say while much more government support is needed to truly expand solar and other renewable energy efforts, taking advantage of solar’s copycat potential can help spread the word in neighborhoods across the country.
Many also encourage community solar projects so everyone, regardless of income, can benefit from the energy.
Experts say one of the best ways to improve energy access and affordability is to ask local policymakers to pass legislation about community solar power.
Photo by Alexander Isreb