Family wanted for smart home study

News South Wales distributor Ausgrid is searching for a family to live rent-free for a year in its ‘Smart Home’ in Newington, Sydney, to test new energy and water efficient technology and blog about it.

The search to fill the futuristic home, created with Sydney Water, follows the success of the original family – Clare, Michael and Ava – who moved out after 18 months.

Ausgrid’s energy-efficiency expert Paul Myors said the family would drive an electric car, test 20 of the most energy- and water-efficient appliances on the market, and see if the home’s mini power generators met all their electricity needs.

“This is an experiment to see how households will use energy and water in the future,” Mr Myors said.

“Everyone uses energy differently, and we want to see how the home performs when a different family moves in.

“For instance, a family with teenagers will have different power and water use patterns compared to a family with young children.

“We’re looking for an ordinary family to move in and write about everyday life in the home.”

Sydney Water managing director Kevin Young said they would also be updating some of the water-efficient appliances to ensure that the latest available technology can be tested.

“It is important to think of the future and to explore a range of ways to save water. “This will of course help to sustain our future water supply,” Mr Young said.

Ausgrid wrote to 1200 homes in the local area, contacted nearby schools, and conducted an online search to invite people to apply to live in the house from April this year.

The home will be fitted with new monitoring and control system for the family to track their electricity use minute-by-minute, which is part of technology trials for the Australian Government’s Smart Grid, Smart City project.

The Smart Grid, Smart City project trials new technologies designed to give households more information and control over their energy use and costs.

Using a new generation smart meter, the family will also be able to join other trials, such as voluntary cycling of air-conditioners for short times during peak periods.

The family will share insights into high-tech, energy-efficient living through their family blog.

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