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This chatbot's mission is to help Kiwis switch to solar power

This chatbot's mission is to help Kiwis switch to solar power

Solarcity rolls out AI chatbot online service ‘Sunny’

Solar will rapidly become the backbone of our electricity system and by using AI to allow customers to better understand the technology, we hope to help Kiwis make a smart decision about how to power their homes

Andrew Booth, solarcity

solarcity is rolling out an artificial intelligence chatbot online service that will make it easier for Kiwis to switch to solar power.

"Sizing up the possible pros and cons of solar can be a hassle, but solarcity's Sunny chatbot removes the need for a site evaluation or complex calculator to tell you if your home is suitable," says Andrew Booth, CEO of the solar energy services company.

"Solar will rapidly become the backbone of our electricity system and by using AI to allow customers to better understand the technology, we hope to help Kiwis make a smart decision about how to power their homes their way," says Booth, in a statement.

Trade Me will be the first to offer its members the ability to use ‘Sunny’ to help them calculate the savings and benefits of going solar.

"At Trade Me we believe solar energy is the way of the future for New Zealand. So, when we realised Sunny's ability to help Kiwis work out the savings and benefits of switching to solar, we jumped on board," says Trade Me's Sustainability lead Josh Borthwick.

The AI-backed chatbot provides a digital service so homeowners no longer have to take time off work to see if their home is suitable for solar and spend hours on the phone to see how much the solar roof could save them.

Sunny combines the eye-in-the-sky images behind Google Earth, GIS data from across city councils with NIWA data on local weather patterns, along with local energy prices and proprietary algorithms to arrive at the savings consumers can make from day one.

As with other AI technology, Sunny developed in collaboration with Panasonic, will learn as it interacts with people, based on the conversations it has with them.

“The world's best digital companies foster a culture of customer-led design and collaboration. For solarcity to meet its digital ambitions to help customers to make the simple switch to solar, we must embed this culture of thinking, acting and doing as leading digital companies do," says Stewart Fowler, CEO of Panasonic.

Sunny will fully integrate with the solarZero app, which solarcity recently launched with Vodafone.The app allows customers to turn their home into a smart home and control appliances from anywhere in the world.

Sunny's launch follows that of Air New Zealand, whose first foray into AI was with chatbot Bravo Oscar Tango, Oscar for short. Oscar assists customers with commonly asked queries, saving them time and offering a more personalised experience than searching a traditional Frequently Asked Questions section online.


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Tags solarcitycustomer focuschatbotchatbotsdigital transformationTrade Megreen ITcustomer experiencesolar energymachine learningAIPanasonicgreen technologyenergyCXsustainability

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