Trade Me members first to meet Sunny, solarcity’s AI-backed chatbot

13 September, 2017 - solarcity has today begun rolling out a new artificial intelligence chatbot online service that will make it easier for Kiwis to switch to solar.

Trade Me, New Zealand’s largest online marketplace will be the first to offer its members the ability to use Sunny to help them calculate the savings and benefits of going solar.

Sunny, the AI-backed chatbot, delivers a unique digital service so homeowners no longer have to take time off work to see if their home is suitable for solar and hours on the phone to see how much money their roof could save them. You can meet Sunny here.

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.

"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,” said Trade Me’s Sustainability Champ Josh Borthwick.

“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,” said solarcity CEO Andrew Booth.

“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.”

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,” said Stewart Fowler CEO of Panasonic.

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