IKEA launches a range of solar panels as new research suggests homeowners across the UK want to save money on energy bills but are put off by installing solar panels by the price.

Furniture retailer IKEA quizzed shoppers on sustainable living and discovered many were in the dark about solar energy. Almost two thirds of homeowners said they were put off by the cost of solar panels, while 6% said they had already made the switch.

The research identified a number of concerns including the appearance of solar panels and also confusion around whether there is enough sunshine in the UK to power them. Britons also dramatically underestimated just how much they might earn and save on energy bills with 29% believing they would only save up to

Latest figures from Hanergy show that owners of an average semi-detached three-bed home could earn as much as £768 a year through reducing their bills and being paid for the energy they generate under the Feed-in-Tariff scheme.

In a move designed to bring home solar into the mainstream market, the retailer has teamed up with Hanergy to offer a full solar installation service to its customers at a price they can afford directly from the high-street.

IKEA Family Members can now purchase a standard 3.36kW photovoltaic (PV) system for a semi-detached home for as little as £5700, inclusive of VAT, or opt for the leading solar finance package in the UK and pay nothing upfront.

The initiative follows a successful pilot in the Lakeside store in July, where a PV system is now sold almost every day, and will be rolled out in all 17 stores across the UK within the next 10 months. Each store will have a dedicated space for Hanergy to showcase the financial benefits of home solar panel systems and enable customers to see the equipment for themselves.

Resembling flat screen TVs, the next generation all-black Hanergy solar panels are among the most advanced models on the market.

Hanergy has turned its focus to making it easier for homeowners to go solar at the lowest possible price and the full solar service will include an in-store consultation and design service as well as expert installation, maintenance and ongoing energy monitoring.

Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability for IKEA UK and Ireland said: “We’re excited to be able to help customers take positive actions at home for both the environment and their wallets. We know that our customers want to live more sustainably and we hope working with Hanergy to make solar panels affordable and easily available helps them do just that.

“Evidence shows that installing solar panels enables homeowners to cut their energy bills by up to 50%, and it takes on average only seven years (at current energy prices) to recuperate the money spent on the solar units. We want to make a greener, more sustainable way of life attractive and easy for as many people as possible, so in addition to our collaboration with Hanergy, were dedicated to expanding our range of sustainable products that help customers save energy, water and sort waste fourfold by 2020.”