Ikea will soon be adding electricity to the already enormous list of things it is selling. First, it is Sweden's turn, but by 2025 the blue-and-yellow chain hopes to have renewable energy generated and used in all markets.
Encouraging solar and wind farms
The Swedish home improvement chain is launching a subscription service for green electricity in Sweden. Users will get their electricity from solar or wind power in exchange for a fixed monthly fee on top of a variable tariff. The consumers themselves can keep track of their usage via the mobile app Strömma, which 'coincidentally' is also the name of an area in the province of Stockholm.
The retailer cooperates with its solar panel supplier to provide the new service. According to Reuters, the idea is to buy electricity on the Scandinavian power exchange and resell it without surcharges. By purchasing energy from young wind and solar farms (Ikea is aiming for farms that are less than five years old), the Swedish group wants to help encourage the construction of such farms. Moreover, customers with Ikea solar panels can use the app to track their production and sell the electricity they do not use themselves.
Retailers go with the flow
Ikea also wants to expand this renewable energy project to other countries. By 2025, the company intends to enable customers in all markets where its retail branch Ingka is active to use and generate renewable energy through their own energy services. At present, consumers can already buy solar panels in eleven countries.
Green power is becoming a new market for an increasing number of retailers. Earlier, Dutch white goods e-tailer Coolblue started selling green electricity, a service that can be economically combined with the retailer's 'green' electronics, such as charging stations and solar panels. The Belgian Colruyt Group also supplies electricity to private individuals through its fuel branch, Dats 24. Its own wind turbines and solar installations generate 2.7 times more electricity than what the supermarket group consumes. That is why the retailer now wants to supply 132,000 households with green energy.
"Providing solar and wind power at a low price to more people feels like the natural next step on our sustainability journey", Bojan Stupar, sales manager at Ikea Sweden, told trade magazine Electrek. It indeed helps with the retailer's green image, but it also provides the company with an outlet for its energy surpluses and provides additional income. Strömma can also contribute to the climate objectives of the chain.