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Survey: national trend away from ownership applies to home solar

A new survey says there’s a “national trend toward disownership” which includes the home solar sector.

The survey, commissioned by solar leasing firm Sunrun, considered people’s opinions on what it calls “disownership” – sharing, renting, borrowing items without the expense or hassle of owning them.

Polling firm Harris Interactive used an online survey to collect the opinions of 2,252 U.S. adults in February 2013.

The key results are:

52 percent of Americans have rented, leased or borrowed the sorts of items people traditionally own in the last two years

83 percent say they would rent, lease or borrow these items, instead of buying them, if they could do so easily

24 percent of Americans are more likely to engage in disownership now than they were five years ago, and

49 percent plan to “disown” traditionally-owned items in the next two years

Reasons for disownership. Credit: Sunrun

Reasons for disownership. Credit: Sunrun

The survey respondents cited saving money and cutting down on storage and maintenance as the top reasons for “disowning” items – the same reasons that people choose to lease, rather than buy, solar panels.

Sunrun argues that this overall “trend” toward disownership is in line with the growth of third-party owned solar. Solar leasing and power purchase agreements allow homeowners to benefit from solar power by paying only for the energy produced without paying to own a home solar power system.

“These results show we’ve entered an age in which Americans recognize they can get more value by owning less,” says Sunrun co-CEO Lynn Jurich.

“At the same time, smart companies are creating innovative business models that offer consumers more flexible choices for accessing the things they want and need.”


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