Sharp and Currys bring solar technology to the High Street

Sharp Electronics has joined forces with Currys, the UK's leading electrical retailer, to offer a range of solar energy solutions for the home for the first time on the high street.

Customers opting for solar power can expect to reduce their electricity bill by up to 50% and could cut down their home's carbon dioxide emissions by up to two tons per year. 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. Technological advances mean that the solar panels, designed and supplied by Sharp, are perfectly adapted to the UK climate. Solar panels do require daylight, but not necessarily direct sunlight to generate electricity. Customers investing in solar panels for the home will see instant, as well as long-term, reductions to their electricity bills. In addition, they could expect a potential increase to the value of their property. Furthermore, there are grants available through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. More details can be found at and Peter Keenan, managing director for Currys, comments, "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. Andrew Lee, general manager for Solar, Sharp Electronics (UK) Ltd, said, "This partnership between Sharp and Currys is a major step forward in making renewable energy easily available to the consumer. Customers will benefit from the convenience of Currys' stores, where they can discuss their options in-store, as well as Sharp's experience and heritage in solar power, meaning quality, reliability and unrivalled service." The cost for an installation of nine solar panels (enough to cover approximately half of a household's electricity requirements on an average three bedroom house) is about £9,000. Each individual customer's requirements will be assessed in detail, following the initial discussion in-store. Information about the next generation of solar photovoltaic technology expected to succeed this can be found in the August 2006 edition of "Eureka."