The companies claim that solar power can reduce electricity bills by up to 50 per cent and could cut down on a home’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to two tons per year.
Technological advances mean that the solar panels, designed and supplied by Sharp, are adapted to the UK climate. Solar panels require daylight, but not necessarily direct sunlight to generate electricity.
The cost for an installation of nine solar panels – enough to cover approximately half of the electricity requirements for an average three bedroom house – is around £9,000. However, there are grants available through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.
Solar panels will initially be on sale in three Currys stores, and information will also be available online. Panels come with a performance warranty of 25 years, and minimum maintenance is required by the customer.
Peter Keenan, managing director for Currys, said: “Our customers are becoming more environmentally aware all the time. But this is far more than a ‘green solution’ for the home. It is also a perfect way of safeguarding against the inevitable energy price rises. We have selected Sharp as our supplier because, as clear market leaders in solar panel technology, they can help us bring the best products and the best service to our customers.”
This is the first time solar panels for the home have been available from a major retailer in the UK, and they will initially be offered from three stores, West Thurrock, Fulham and Croydon. After a detailed in-store consultation with a trained adviser, customers with suitable houses will be offered a home assessment free of charge. Should the house be capable of supporting the technology – and most are – installation of the solar panels on the property roof takes just one or two days and requires a minimum of equipment to be installed, usually in the roof space.
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