Readers of the Moregeous blog know that we’re big fans of Ikea here, having spent beyond a fortune over the years on cool rental furniture & kitchens for clients & tenanted properties, as well as the obligatory candle & orchid splurges. However instead of the new furniture range many people have been cooing over this week, I was blown away in the Ashton store to see that Ikea are now selling solar panels – with a 15% Friends & Family discount!
I think this is a brilliant collaboration between a store which gets so many people through it’s doors and Hanergy, one of the world’s biggest solar companies. Cunningly positioned near the returns section so you can pop over for a chat whilst you wait for your number to be called, I was intrigued and did indeed pop over for a chat. One quote for Moregeous Mansions later, it something we’re seriously looking at today.
It was very smoothly and efficiently done. I gave our post code and their clever system linked with Google Maps to bring up our house for their in-store assessor to look at and measure the roof. An estimation could then be done, based on size, aspect and pitch. There was a solar panel there to look at, plus lots of well explained technical help from the team in-store. I was really impressed, having spent some time looking at the option of solars for Moregeous Mansions and our eco refurb this coming summer.
One thing I’m being advised of today, by a specialist friend, is that this Ikea system uses an SMA inverter which is the piece of equipment linked to all the actual panels and (in layman’s terms) converts the light coming through the panels into the electricity for the grid. There’s newer technology available called micro-inverters which link to each individual solar panel and these are supposed to be more efficient, for example, if some panels are in shade an SMA inverter is dragged down as it’s connected to the solar panels as a whole, instead of individually. Going to do some more research on this and see whether it’s worth us paying the extra for the more up to date technology.
The price for an installed Ikea system (with this older and cheaper tech) was very good in comparison to others we’ve looked at and most importantly, I would trust Ikea to both do a good job and to be there and available if anything goes wrong.
Having already had a Green Deal assessment which basically gave a bit fat Z to our old, single glazed, uninsulated pile, it looks like we might be having a big, shiny, money-saving side to one of our roof pitches – exciting stuff. Just remains to be seen from where and which system. I’ll let you know!