Ikea has been a serious player in the realm of renewable energy, vowing to produce more than it uses by the year 2020. And now the furniture make is encouraging residents of the UK to follow its lead, today announcing a new battery built specifically to store energy captured from rooftop solar panels.

When it comes to Ikea and solar panels themselves, it has been something of an on-again off-again affair. The retailer started selling solar panels in its UK stores back in 2013, but government cuts to solar subsidies saw it withdraw that offering before reintroducing them again last year.

In any case, it now sells solar panels made by provider Solarcentury, and has today announced a Solar Battery Storage pack to capture the energy that they (or customers' existing solar panels) harvest.

Ikea says that the average home with rooftop solar in the UK consumes around 40 percent of the electricity it captures, with the remainder fed back into the grid. It says by storing this energy through its new solar battery, this number should double to 80 percent and cut up to 70 percent off electricity bills.

The solar battery itself starts at £3,000 (about US$4,000), and while it can work with existing rooftop solar setups, it can also be bundled together with panels from Solarcentury. Cost estimates are through its online calculator, which is similar in a way to Google's Project Sunroof which calculates how much rooftop solar can shave off energy bills. The battery is available to UK customers via the Ikea website, with installation said to take as little as three weeks.

Source: Ikea