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Sharp and Currys to bring solar technology to the high street for the first time

Power to the consumer! Sharp and Currys to bring solar technology to the high street for the first time

31 July 2006: Sharp Electronics, the world’s leading manufacturer of solar panels, 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 www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk/home/ and www.est.org.uk/myhome/generating/application/.

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.”

Pricing information

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 circa £9,000. Each individual customer’s requirements will be assessed in detail, following the initial discussion in-store.

Notes to Editors

For further information on Sharp solar solutions, please contact:

Jenny Hodge
Communications/PR Manager
+44 (0)20 8734 2134 / +44 (0)7775 897360
jenny.hodge@sharp-uk.co.uk

For more information on Sharp’s solar energy solutions, customers should call 0870 606 0865, or visit www.sharp.co.uk/solar.

About Sharp

Sharp is the global leader in solar cell production, with more than 45 years' experience in the industry. With installations as diverse as satellites, commercial, public and residential buildings, over a quarter of solar modules installed worldwide are manufactured by Sharp. In 2004, Sharp opened its first solar module manufacturing plant in Europe based in Wrexham, North Wales. The facility assembles monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar modules for residential and commercial installations. In 2005, Sharp’s annual production capacity increased to 428 megawatts. With a current market share of 26 per cent, Sharp has been the worldwide leader in production of solar cells for six years.

About Currys

* Currys is Britain’s biggest electrical retailer with a network of more than 550 stores nationwide.

* Currys has over 5,000 product lines from the world's leading manufacturers offering the UK's widest range of home electricals from domestic appliances and home entertainment technology to audio and visual equipment and PCs.

* Products are available at out-of-town Currys superstores, Currys.digital on the high street or online at www.currys.co.uk.

* Currys offers customers a ‘hassle free’ shopping experience with the convenience of seven-day delivery and installation services and comprehensive after-sales support, including 24-hour helplines and a national team of engineers.

* Currys customers have the option of a comprehensive product support service whateverhappens which offers fast and convenient repairs and technical support.

© 2006, Sharp Electronics (UK) Ltd.