You know solar is becoming mainstream when solar panels are sold between flat-pack nightstands and rolls of multi-colored carpet. IKEA has announced that it will begin doing just that in its stores in Britain, a first step in an ambitious plan to roll out renewable energy products worldwide. They've already started selling panels made by Hanergy in the Southampton store, and stores in the rest of the country will follow suit in the coming months.
A standard, all-black 3.36 kilowatt system for a semi-detached home will cost 5,700 British pounds ($9,200) and will include an in-store consultation and design service as well as installation, maintenance and energy monitoring service.
"In the past few years the prices on solar panels have dropped, so it's a really good price now," IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard told The Associated Press. "It's the right time to go for the consumers." (source)
Paypack on a residential home solar system is about 7 years for the average UK home at average electricity rates. After that payback period, the savings accrue directly to your pocketbook! But of course, money's not the only reason to go solar; the environmental benefits of getting your electricity from a clean source of power are many.