Photovoltaics hit the high street

PV panels have made their entry onto the high street, appearing on the shelves of a major electronics retailer this week.

Currys says its decision to stock the panels was prompted by soaring electricity prices and a rise in environmental awareness among customers. The panels are only being sold in three of its stores on a trial basis, but the move could herald a step into the mainstream for a technology so far only available from specialist suppliers.

A PV system costing around £9000 in total could halve the electricity consumption – and the electricity bills – of an average household, Currys said.

The company is also promoting the panels as a way of future-proofing homes against electricity price hikes.

“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 seemingly inevitable energy price rises,” Currys managing director Peter Keenan said in a statement.

Customers will be offered an in-store consultation followed an assessment of the suitability of their property before making the decision to buy their own micro solar power stations.

Government grants available under the Low Carbon Buildings programme can cover up to half of the investment.

The panels, manufactured by Sharp, are now available at a Currys store near you – at least if you live in West Thurrock, Essex, Fulham or Croydon in south London.

Goska Romanowicz

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