Interview with German eco-bot pilot user

Hello and thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me about Eco-Bot and answer our questions: 

I assume that you worked in home office during the lockdown. Is it more difficult to save energy in these times?

I’m still studying and currently staying with my parents for an internship, spending most of the day in the home office in front of my laptop. 

It is more difficult to save energy. I work a lot on the laptop, the WLAN router runs all day, which I otherwise switch off. I cook more often, drink more coffee. I think all of those activities increase the energy consumption.

What do you think of the idea of a chatbot in the Energy Savings Account? Does it enrich the Energy Savings Account?

What I find convenient is the possibility to test whether a saving measure was profitable. That I can evaluate how high the consumption was three months later, for example, compared to the consumption in the three months before. 

Do you find Eco-Bot easy to use? What would you like to see as additional functionality?

I find it easy to use, with suggestions for improvement. I think an additional button with “menu” would be good. I find it less convenient that one must scroll back if you want to use a function again. A “back” and “cancel” button would be good and then the menu could appear again. Ecobot already understands a bit more since the beginning, when I used it for the first time.  

Do you enjoy using Eco-Bot? 

I find it exciting to track which tips I implemented a few months ago and how consumption then develops. I also like the cost savings for energy-saving appliances, even if you don’t want to buy an appliance, just in general to see how the different energy-saving classes affect consumption. 

I find this playfulness pleasant as a supplement to the energy savings account. I didn’t use the user manual and rather dealt with Eco-Bot intuitively. The menu helped me a lot. 

So, you like the menu? What do you think of these graphic elements?

I think it’s indispensable so that the user knows what to do with Eco-Bot. If he enters two different questions and each time Ecobot doesn’t know the answer, the user gets frustrated and might not use it anymore. 

Regarding the energy saving tips, did you find them helpful and easy to implement?

I like that the tips are presented as an offer that you can usually easily implement, the exception was tips on air conditioning, which is probably installed in very few households. 

However, I have not been online for 14 days and the chat window is now full of tips, which is a bit much at once. 

Would a smart meter have been something for you?

The topic is very exciting, but unfortunately, I live in a rented flat and therefore could not take advantage of the offer. 

What energy-saving topics are you interested in?

When it comes to saving energy, I’m mainly interested in the political aspect, because basically I can’t achieve that much as an individual. At home, I am primarily interested in electricity, because this topic is more current. When it comes to heating, you can’t change that much, just turn the thermostat, although of course heating produces more emissions. 

Do you have a final statement on Eco-Bot?

I think Eco-Bot is good because it shows me how much electricity I am using, and it helps me to save energy.