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City Power Launches AI Chatbot “Joulene” to Address Johannesburg’s Power Supply Issues



Amid ongoing challenges with Johannesburg’s electricity supply, City Power has introduced an AI chatbot named Joulene, aiming to improve customer service and communication. The launch of Joulene coincides with the relaunch of City Power’s customer portal, marking a significant step in the utility’s digital transformation efforts.

The Need for Innovation

City Power has been grappling with maintaining a stable power supply due to the city’s aging infrastructure and rampant criminal activities affecting the power distribution network. In response, the utility has recognized the importance of digital transformation to better serve its customers and address their concerns more efficiently.

Introducing Joulene

Joulene, the AI chatbot, is designed to assist customers with their queries about power outages and other electricity-related issues. The name “Joulene” is derived from “joule,” the unit of energy, with the addition of “ne” to give it a feminine touch, symbolizing gender diversity and the crucial role of women leaders within City Power.


How Joulene Works

Joulene is accessible via the City Power website, with an icon located at the bottom right of each webpage. Customers can click the icon, type in their queries, and receive answers from the chatbot. This service aims to provide immediate responses to common questions, potentially reducing wait times for customers seeking assistance.

Maintaining Traditional Channels

Despite the introduction of Joulene, City Power will continue to offer support through its existing customer service platforms, including:

  • Phone support
  • WhatsApp channels
  • LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube
  • Walk-in centres

The utility is also developing a mobile app to offer real-time updates, issue reporting, and personalized user experiences.

Commitment to Digital Transformation


City Power’s CEO, Tshifularo Mashava, emphasized the utility’s commitment to evolving through digital transformation. “City Power has recognized the importance of digital transformation and we’re taking steps to evolve,” said Mashava. The launch of Joulene is a part of this broader strategy to enhance customer interaction and service delivery.

Looking Ahead

As Johannesburg’s electricity supply issues persist, the introduction of Joulene represents a proactive step by City Power to leverage technology in addressing customer concerns. Whether this will significantly improve the power supply situation remains to be seen, but it demonstrates City Power’s dedication to improving customer service and embracing digital solutions.

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