IKEA Starts Selling Solar Batteries to U.K. Homeowners

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Home retailer IKEA of Sweden AB said it would start selling batteries for rooftop solar panels in the latest sign that once-costly storage technologies are becoming mainstream.

The Solar Battery Storage system was announced in partnership with U.K. panel provider Solar Century Holdings Ltd. on Wednesday, providing potential savings on electricity bills by enabling users to use stored solar power when the sun is down and power grid costs are high.

The news came after the U.K. government set out last month to help energy consumers and industries save as much as 40 billion pounds ($52 billion) on their electricity bills by opening the grid to battery storage devices. The cost of lithium-ion cells used in batteries have already fallen 73 percent since 2010 and more price declines are expected.

A solar panel and battery storage kit from IKEA would cost from 6,925 pounds ($9,155), that would be returned over 12 years, according to the statement by IKEA on its website.

“With energy bills already going up 15 percent this year, there’s never been a better time for customers to take back control of their electricity bills and maximize their savings by switching to solar and solar storage,” said Hege Saebjornsen, sustainability manager for IKEA U.K. & Ireland, according to the statement.

Centrica Plc on Tuesday hit U.K. households with a 12.5 percent rise in electricity prices, defying a government pledge to lower costs. SSE Plc, Innogy SE’s Npower unit, Iberdrola SA’s ScottishPower business and EON SE have all announced price increase since the start of the year.

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