Utilities regulator asks energy switchers to talk to Alexa

Commission launches first campaign of its kind using Google Home and Alexa devices

Users who say “Alexa, start Switch on CRU” or “Hey Google, start Switch with CRU” will be able to pursue a conversation with their smart speakers about energy savings, safety and switching. Photograph: iStock

Users who say “Alexa, start Switch on CRU” or “Hey Google, start Switch with CRU” will be able to pursue a conversation with their smart speakers about energy savings, safety and switching. Photograph: iStock

 

People who want to switch energy suppliers to keep down the cost of their bills will be encouraged to ask Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa and its counterpart on Google Home devices for advice in a new campaign from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

The commission will today launch what it says is the first Irish marketing campaign to revolve around the use of a conversation “skill” activated on Google Home and Alexa-powered devices.

Users who say “Alexa, start Switch on CRU” or “Hey Google, start Switch with CRU” will be able to pursue a conversation with their smart speakers about energy savings, safety and switching.

They will be prompted to do so through a wider communications push fronted by broadcaster Maia Dunphy and high-profile Instagram influencers, who will be seen interacting with smart home devices to compare energy prices.

Developed by the CRU with PR agency Amplify @Drury Porter Novelli and Granite Digital, the campaign is hoping to make use of growing smart home ownership among Irish consumers.

“We are delighted to be the first to introduce this innovative AI technology and reach Irish consumers in a way that complements their busy online and offline lifestyles,” said the CRU’s head of communications and public affairs Karl Richardson.