Marc Cooper is Pure Planet’s Head of Knowledge and Community. It’s Marc and his teams’ job to build our Community of Pure Planet Members (53,000 and counting!) and get them talking about renewable energy, smart technologies and lots more. He’s also responsible for the FAQs you’ll find in the Community, and Help & Support section on our website.
To celebrate the launch of our new app, created in collaboration with bp, we asked Marc more about it, how the Community were involved in its design, and what, as a Member himself, he’s finding most useful.
Marc’s take on the new Pure Planet app
Tell us about the app — who’s it for and how does it make their life better?
It’s for our Members to be more informed about how they use energy. It helps us all save money and also reduce our carbon footprint. In a way which is easy to use and encourages us all to become more aware and responsible for how much energy we use, and what we can do at home to reduce usage.
**As a Pure Planet Member yourself, what’s been the most useful new addition to the app for you? **
The energy usage graphs are great because I can see monthly and yearly usage. I can see for example the impact of getting an electric vehicle (usage went up) and when I unplugged an old freezer (usage went down).<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jGrYm2-Sa-U" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
And what are you most looking forward to seeing in the app in the future?
Being able to see my house and car’s energy usage in real time, how much of my energy is being produced by my home (solar panels) and being able to return unused energy back to the grid. All within an app — that’s the future I’m looking forward to.
How the Community were involved
**What did the Community want from the new app and how did they help build it? **
The Pure Planet Community ideas board is a place for Members to suggest new products and services that Pure Planet can offer. We also use it to share our plans so Members can give us their feedback.
Community Members worked with us for about six months on testing the new features. They spent many hours on video calls with our designers and developers. It was great, we got some really useful feedback and ideas. Just before we went live with the new app we had an online meet-up with some of our Community Members to walk them through the release process and timings.
**What feedback have you received so far? **
Members really like the new designs, and the improved energy usage info. They're also testing out the new Car page in the app, which means they can see what they’d save in £ and CO2 emissions if they swapped their petrol or diesel cars for EVs.
Is the Community involved in any other trials at the moment?
We’ve a Pure Planet Futures area of the Community where we and our Members try out new tools and services. We’ve recently been testing out real-time energy usage and how we can show this in an app. We’ve got an announcement due any day now which is going to be about rooftop solar panels. So watch this space!
Working at Pure Planet
**What makes Pure Planet special? **
We’re not perfect (!), we’re a small team trying our best to get the UK to 100% renewable energy, in a way that shows we are trusted and support our Members, as well as our own Pure Planet team.
We’ve been careful not to grow too quickly, or to move into products and services that might distract us from consistently delivering on looking after our Members.
What’s Pure Planet trying to achieve?
As we see the impact of climate change become more apparent, we’re heading for some big, big changes in the way that we all consume energy and live our lives. There’s going to be a massive upheaval in how UK households source and use energy over the next 10 to 20 years, if we’re to meet climate change targets. Pure Planet can help its Community achieve net zero emissions.
Our approach to community and transparency, as well as consumer-friendly technology of course, helps us to build trust with our Members, so that they will come to us to help us all get to net zero together.
What’s your personal motivation around preventing climate change?
I simply like the idea of thinking long term. That the decisions we make now, and the actions we take now, will be felt in the next generations. So my motivation is that it would be a good thing to protect the planet for those who are coming after us.
If you’re interested in getting involved in our trials, you can find out more about Pure Planet Futures here.
And don’t forget to join our Community if you haven’t already. It’s where we share the latest news from Pure Planet, and where you can get help from 53,000 other wonderfully supportive Members, or simply have a chat.