Green Technology
Wanted: Family for Rent-Free Australian Smart Home
The Jetsons meet Big Brother: Home controls, energy management and an electric car will be used by the family.
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New South Wales energy department is seeking a family to live like George Jetson in a smart house for one year.
February 11, 2010 by Jason Knott

Calling it “The Jetsons Meet Big Brother,” the Australian government is looking for volunteers to live rent free in a smart home in Sydney for one year.

John Robertson, the minister for energy in New South Wales, says the family will be testing the latest technology to save energy and water.

“This trial is about taking smart green technologies out of the lab and putting them to the test in the real world with a real family,” Robertson told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “We’re looking for a family with children because we know that kids use technology different to their parents.”

The home is in the old Olympic Village in the city of Newington and is powered by rooftop solar panels and a fuel cell that converts natural gas into electricity. The family will have access to an electric car, OLED TV, and home controls “that will enable the family to turn lights and appliances on and off from an iPhone or laptop.”

Whoever lives in the house will be required to write about their experiences. “We need someone who can blog,” says Robertson. “And we’ll probably need a family who’s got a good sense of humor and plenty of patience, because not everything we test in the house we know is going to work perfectly every time.

But unlike “Big Brother,” there won’t be any cameras in the home.

Energy and water use will be monitored. All rent and utilities will be covered. The family will be selected in April or May and move into the home in June or July.

Interested families can apply at http://www.tenderlink.com/energy.

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