BREF – 9 February 2010 – The NSW Government is searching for a family of the future – and if yours is selected you will live rent free in a house that uses the latest energy efficient appliances, generates and stores its own electricity on site and where the family car is electric.

Oh…you also need to blog about your experiences.

The Smart Home project part of the Smart Village project where 1000 households in Newington and Silverwater in Sydney’s west can use new technologies to reduce their environmental footprint and household utility bills.

NSW Minister for Energy John Robertson said the trials were designed to test smart grid technologies “in real homes using real families to help change the way we use water and energy.”

The $10 million, two year smart grid trial is being run by the NSW Government in partnership with Energy Australia and Sydney Water.

Another experiment in smarter homes underway in Victoria at VicUrban’s Aurora development in Epping North which will trial fuel cell technology. (See our recent article on this here)

Mr Robertson said the Smart Home would be powered by rooftop solar panels and a fuel cell on site that converts natural gas into electricity .

“Entertainment will be beamed into the lounge room from an ‘Organic LED’ TV, while mum and dad cook dinner in the energy efficient kitchen, complete with a worm farm.”

Another feature is that lights and appliances will be able to be controlled remotely through an Iphone or computer and a monitor will keep tabs on energy and water use.

Australia’s first Smart Home is expected to be ready for occupation by mid year. Features will include:

  • Remote control of household appliances using an iPhone and a household website
  • Driving and re-charging a plug-in electric car
  • Battery storage technology and micro generation including a “Blue Gen” Ceramic Fuel Cell
  • A new type of heat-exchange air conditioner
  • State-of-the-art lighting
  • Water saving appliances and gardens

Applications for the Smart Home close on 22 February.  Details here.