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Meet Lenny the Liney

8 June 2018

Counties Power has today become the first lines company in New Zealand to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.  Lenny the Liney (short for Linesperson) can be found on the company’s home page at  Users simply type a question into the bot, who will reply with an answer.

Lenny will initially assist customers with commonly asked questions, saving them time and offering a more personalised experience than searching the website. As with other AI technology, Lenny will learn based on the conversations people have, becoming more user friendly as interactions increase. 

Counties Power Chief Executive Judy Nicholl says the chatbot is a new approach for the company who is investing more in improving the customer experience and in technology.

“Lenny the Liney is a personal online assistant to help our customers go directly to the information they need.  Lenny may answer the question directly or refer you to the page on our website with the information. The beauty of chatbots is that they learn and evolve over time and become increasingly useful as the public ask them more questions.”

Users can ask Lenny any number of questions, from how to report a power outage to how to connect a new house to the electricity network. Lenny is programmed with a large databank of answers or information sources. Lenny won’t be able to answer every complex question so will direct you to our customer services team if that’s the case.  

In the future the company sees the chatbot being used for an increasing amount of customer interactions.  As society’s use of online technology grows, the use of chatbots and AI-based systems is set to grow exponentially.

Lenny the Liney is the first implementation of FAQ Bot, an AI-powered multi-channel chatbot developed in New Zealand to answer frequently asked questions and automate customer service. Every chat is analysed for insights into trends and issues. FAQ Bot is a product of the innovation lab at Theta - a New Zealand technology consultancy that has been building chatbots since early 2016.


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