Romney Voters More Likely To Make Green Home Improvements Than Obama Voters

Across the political spectrum, frugality trumps health and planet when it comes to environmental motivations

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Sunrun, the nation’s largest home solar company, today announced national survey results revealing that Romney voters are more likely to have made what can be described as ‘green’ home improvements in the past five years than Obama supporters (64% vs. 58%). The survey looked at the lifestyle changes and home improvements Romney and Obama voters have made or are interested in making. Environmental concerns were not highest on either side’s list of the motivating factors for making changes to their homes or their habits; both groups identified “saving money” as their primary motivating factor for having made these changes, or for doing so in the future.

The study was commissioned by Sunrun and conducted online by Harris Interactive® in August among 2,334 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. Nine out of ten Americans of both voting persuasions said they had made what can be considered ‘green’ changes to their lifestyles over the last five years. Even though only 33 percent of Romney voters believe in global warming, they led the charge on home improvements that could benefit the environment. Obama voters were more likely to have made eco-friendly lifestyle changes in the past five years (94% vs. 88%).

“This data shows us that a new shade of green is emerging, and it’s not dominated by any particular side of the political spectrum,” said Sunrun President and co-Founder Lynn Jurich. “Americans are motivated by savings, and now there are environmental choices that are also the smartest choices for your bank account.”

“I call this Pocketbook Environmentalism,” continued Jurich. “People may like that something is good for the environment, but they’re not willing to pay more for it.”

Bipartisan Green

Americans showed nearly twice as high a motivation to save money by implementing energy-efficient and otherwise green home and lifestyle changes (85%) than the least-common mentioned motivation for going green, concern for the planet (44%). Obama voters and Romney voters were neck-and-neck (50% and 47% respectively) when it came to citing the desire to help America be less dependent on other countries for energy as a motivation.

Survey Question: Which of the following has been, or would be, a motivating factor for making the types of lifestyle changes or home improvements described in the previous questions?




Obama Voters


Romney Voters

Saving money   85%   84%   87%
Improving my/my family’s health  






Desire to help America be less dependent on other countries for energy  






Concern for the planet   44%   58%   27%

“Individual voters’ attitudes and actions show that they consider ‘going green’ a smart choice rather than a political choice,” added Jurich. “Sunrun has customers that span political parties, because they all fall into the Pocketbook Environmentalist category.”

Jurich founded Sunrun with Pocketbook Environmentalists in mind. The company lets Americans go solar without the high upfront costs, plus save money on electric bills. Sunrun owns, insures and maintains the panels on a homeowners’ roof. Families pay a lower rate for the solar power than the rate charged by their local utility company.

Greening Your Life vs. Greening Your Home

Romney voters’ higher inclination toward home improvements made in the past five years includes:

  • Bought energy efficient appliances (43% vs. 35%)
  • Installed low flow toilets (22% vs. 17%)

Noteworthy data reflecting Obama supporters’ higher likelihood to have made relevant lifestyle changes in the past five years vs. Romney voters includes:

  • Eating more all-natural/organic foods (34% vs. 19%)
  • Unplugging gadgets and electronics when not in use (41% vs. 29%)
  • Starting to recycle or recycling more (52% vs. 42%)

Additional data from the survey available at: survey-says-green-is-non-partisan

Closing The Aspiration/Action Disconnect

“Attaining a greener lifestyle is simpler and more convenient than ever before because smart companies are emerging that make the green option the more cost-effective one,” said Sunrun Consumer Educator Susan Wise. “We want to show people that it’s easier than they think to go from aspiration to action. They don’t have to consider themselves environmentalists to want to have a greener lifestyle.”

Green lifestyle changes can be as simple as recycling more or driving less by carpooling or taking public transportation. Changes like going solar that may seem complicated are much easier because of options like Sunrun. Since Sunrun introduced solar power service in 2007, it has become the preferred way for consumers to go solar in the nation’s top solar markets.

While only 3% of Romney voters and 2% of Obama voters have installed solar-power systems in the past five years, 27% of U.S. adults said they are interested in installing a solar-power system in the future. 85% said saving money was, or would be, an important factor for making these types of changes.

“The results show there’s tremendous opportunity to educate voters on how easy it is shift to clean energy and cut costs at the same time,” added Wise of Sunrun.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Sunrun from August 23-27, 2012 among 2,334 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 Victoria Krammen at

About Sunrun

Sunrun is the nation’s largest home solar company and invented solar power service, a way for homeowners to go solar without the high upfront costs. Sunrun owns, insures, monitors and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner’s roof, while families pay a low rate for clean energy and fix their electric costs for 20 years. Since Sunrun introduced solar power service in 2007, it has become the preferred way for consumers to go solar in the nation’s leading solar markets. More than 25,000 homeowners in 10 states have chosen Sunrun, and the Company partners with over 30 leading local solar companies who together employ more than 3,000 workers. Sunrun has attracted enough capital to support the purchase of $1 billion in solar systems from investors including U.S. Bancorp and raised $145 million in venture capital from Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, Foundation Capital, and Madrone Capital Partners. For more information visit:

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit

Susan Wise, 415-684-9874
Sutherland Gold Group
Victoria Krammen, 415-848-7178

Source: Sunrun