New Survey Reveals Majority Of Americans Want To Give Up Personal Data For Tracking

Sunrun Survey Shows Consumers Interested in Revealing Personal Information to Make Smarter Decisions for Their Homes, Family

Sunrun, the nation's leading home solar company, today released the results of a nationwide survey that reveals consumers' desire to live a 'Smart Life' using connected devices and technology to help them make better decisions for themselves and their families. These decisions can relate to home management, personal finances, home security, energy use, home entertainment, health and navigation. The survey was commissioned by Sunrun and conducted online by Harris Interactive in October 2013 among 2,022 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

Despite recent debates around data privacy, consumers themselves may not be as concerned about revealing personal information: examining a wide range of consumers' lifestyle tracking habits shows a majority of Americans (55%) are already using various devices (i.e. smartphone, tablet, wearable technology, personal navigation device, etc.) in their homes and lives to gather/track personal data.

This desire to live a better life isn't new we've seen proof of that over the last six years as we've helped tens of thousands of Americans to choose cleaner, less expensive solar energy,' said Lynn Jurich, co-CEO of Sunrun. 'But the results of our survey show a new trend how technology is enabling consumers to be more active in making changes that positively impact their quality of life. For example, we most recently combined our solar service with simple tools like a smart thermostat that gives families greater control over home energy use. As consumers become more aware of new technology to track their lifestyle, they will be able to make more informed decisions to live smarter.


From the wrist to the living room: lifestyle tracking moves indoors

While tracking personal health data, such as calorie intake or exercise, with wearable devices has become more common, consumers show an interest in using tools for other lifestyle areas, too. As part of the Smart Life trend, the vast majority of U.S. consumers express interest in using and/or do use connected technology specifically in their home to collect and track personal data (74%). This 'Smarthome' of tomorrow one that leverages the power of data to better control appliances, manage energy use more efficiently and save money is poised to revolutionize the choices we make at home.

Tracking data and lifestyle inputs throughout the home provides a wide range of benefits: U.S. adults reported saving money (45%) and staying organized (41%) as the top reasons for wanting to and/or doing so. The study also found that the majority of interest in connected technologies is for altruistic purposes: six in ten (60%) Americans reported they would make better choices for their homes if they were able to collect data on their personal habits and usage around the house and that they want to make their family's lives smarter with the help of connected technology (61%). It's not surprising then that families are amongst the biggest participants in the Smart Life movement Americans with children under 18 living in the household (74%) use more connected devices to collect/track personal data than those without children under 18 living in the household (48%).


Here today, smart tomorrow

The study also reveals tracking lifestyle habits appeals to a wide range of consumers. Those unfamiliar with available technologies to track personal data or who do not use their device(s) to collect/track personal data for any of the listed lifestyle categories want to find new ways to live 'smarter' as well: for example, 73 percent of Americans who are unaware of devices that can be used for home energy monitoring would be at least somewhat interested in using these devices, and 70 percent of adults who are unaware of devices for home management would be at least somewhat interested in using them. What's more, 61 percent of U.S. adults overall want to know more about connected devices they can use to live smarter lives. The same number reported they would like to have the ability to better control things in their home with connected devices.

With interest high, opportunities exist to further educate consumers about Smart Life options centered on home life: only 42 percent who currently use devices to collect/track personal data are aware of existing tools to monitor home energy use, while only 39 percent are aware of devices for home management.

Sunrun introduced the solar service model in 2007, in which the company designs, installs, insures, monitors, and maintains the solar system on a homeowner's roof. Families don't need to buy the panels or worry about maintenance. They simply pay a fixed rate for the power produced at a lower rate than they're currently paying their local utility, making home energy consumption smarter and cleaner while giving them control over their electric bills. Sunrun is the smartest choice for home solar and makes it simple for families to adopt lifestyle changes for a better quality of life.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Sunrun from October 29-31, 2013 among 2,022 U.S. adult adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Owen Remeika, [email protected] or at 415-655-4560.

Sunrun pioneered solar as a service, a way for homeowners to go solar without a significant upfront investment, and is the largest dedicated residential solar company in the U.S. Sunrun provides end-to-end service for homeowners to choose clean, solar energy and receive predictable pricing for solar energy for 20 years. The company designs, installs, finances, insures, monitors and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner's roof, while families pay just for the electricity at a lower rate than their current utility. Since Sunrun introduced solar as a service in 2007, it has become the preferred way for consumers to go solar in the nation’s top solar markets. For more information please visit: www.sunrun.com.