Like many first home buyers, Georgia’s priorities were price and location. It just so happens that her new home is enhanced with technology yet to hit the market and innovations that will help her thousands.

At 25, she is the second to move to Carseldine Village, north of Brisbane. Her home is highly advanced and researched as a ‘living laboratory’.

Most of the 182-unit residential development is still under construction, but it will soon become the country’s first freehold district to run on 100% solar and battery power.

Novel in and of itself, Georgia’s home is one of the smartest in the country.

Her home employs state-of-the-art pre-cooling technology, which significantly reduces carbon footprint and energy costs, while reducing the load on the power grid during peak night hours.

Air conditioners in homes can communicate with the power grid and be tuned to allow automatic pre-cooling, but have yet to be seen in Australia.

Georgia’s shower habits are also remembered in the home app, so her batteries charge at the lowest price in the winter or when there isn’t much solar.

it is estimated Georgia’s home will have a net zero energy footprint, saving at least $1,600 a year in electricity bills.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows to adjust volume.
Stage 1 of Carseldine Village is complete, with two more to follow.

Georgia said she’s obsessed with tracking sunshine with an app on her phone since moving in in May.

The electricity bill hasn’t come yet, but she reckons it will be $100 a quarter, and that’s just the “daily usage fee” to get on the grid.

“I work in infrastructure, and I do a lot of work on developing Net Zero,” she said.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to say to a colleague, ‘My house has no electricity.

“I didn’t have to do anything. It was all included as part of the build package.”

Georgia picks herbs in the kitchen of her new home.
Georgia moved to a new house in May.(ABC News: Kim Agius)

living lab

The state of Georgia and 24 homeowners under development are participating in another pilot program to see if they can save even more energy and money by using a residential energy management system.

Developed by CSIRO, the system is cloud-based and can communicate with Georgia’s solar, battery, air conditioning, and power grid.

This means she can automate her energy supply and output via her mobile phone, make the most of daytime solar power and take advantage of cheaper electricity bills.

Additionally, generators can communicate with appliances to pre-cool your home or turn off your air conditioner if there is a risk of a power outage.

Georgia checks her app, "off the grid".
Georgia checks her app to see if she’s “off the grid.”(ABC News: Kim Agius)

Proving mass ‘net-zero’ living is possible

Georgia purchased a two-story terrace in a 167 square meter block. Because at $530,000, she was $70,000 to $120,000 cheaper than the comparable house she was looking for.

Headshot of Brooke Walters, project manager for Queensland Economic Development.
Brooke Walters, Project Manager at Economic Development Queensland, said:(ABC News: Kim Agius)

The Village is the brainchild of the state government, Economic Development Queensland (EDQ), which set out to prove zero net energy emissions. Living was not only attainable, but affordable for everyone, including first-time homebuyers.

Brooke Walters, EDQ’s project manager, says owners will save $1,600 a year in electricity bills, but that figure was calculated before electricity prices went up, and the software platform takes into account Not.

Walters said he estimates the platform could save homeowners an additional 27%, but that figure needs to be substantiated through long-term studies.

“It’s not just solar and storage. We estimate that we can save about $30,000 over the next 10 years by considering freehold housing and not having a corporation,” she said.

“This is proof that it can be done. This is the future. Each household will reduce carbon emissions by about 5 tons per year.”

Each terrace is freehold and has its own wall with gaps visible between the houses seen here.
Each terrace is freehold and has its own wall.(ABC News: Kim Agius)

air conditioner of the future

The 25 households using the software platform also have air conditioners that are not yet on the market.

The air conditioner has a prototype cloud-based controller system flown in from Japan and can communicate with the system’s cloud and Energex.

This component is only used in commercial air conditioning and is the first in the world to be used at home.

Brooke Walters of Economic Development Queensland uses new air conditioning technology.
The air conditioner has a prototype cloud-based controller system.(ABC News: Kim Agius)

The system predicts the weather outside and knows the temperature inside and the available solar and battery energy. From this set of data, you can automate the pre-cooling of your home early in the day when solar energy is abundant.

This reduces the cost to the householder and the demand on the grid during afternoon and evening peaks.

“Being a prototype, the features and specifications of the current hardware will need to be further refined to be cost-effective and included in the outdoor unit, which will take time to develop,” said Walters. increase.

“This is pure research and development.

Georgia and Ben outside Carseldine Village's new terrace.
Georgia and Ben enjoy cutting-edge technology on their new terrace at Carseldine Village.(ABC News: Kim Agius)

“But this is the future of air conditioning. I don’t know how many years it will take, maybe five.”

brownout research

With this technology, in the event of an energy crisis, the energy network can send a signal via the Internet to turn off the air conditioner.

During the investigation, different scenarios were tried, sending a signal to the cloud and requiring the house to export energy from the solar cells. This allows energy companies to understand the demands placed on the grid and make better decisions to ensure a reliable and cost-effective power supply.

Georgia next to solar cells
Georgia’s home is solar powered, saving her more than $1,000 each year.(ABC News: Kim Agius)

“It’s like a power plant or substation going down and having the ability to respond with emergency power from people’s homes,” Walters said.

“That’s the future, one where multiple sources or storage and generation are available, and householders are financially rewarded.

“You can avoid brownouts and potential blackouts.”

A lounge room in a terrace house.
The house is on the cutting edge of pre-cooling technology.(Provided by: Carseldine Village)

Wendy Miller, Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology, will oversee the research over the next two years.

She wants to determine the difference between efficient appliances (solar vs battery) and how much energy is saved by using a home management system.

QUT will measure how much solar power Georgia and other participants generate, how much energy they use for hot water systems, air conditioning, and how much their batteries charge and discharge.

“This has never happened before,” she said.

“At the household level, if we can maximize the availability of enough solar power to meet all loads even during the day, we can prevent an oversupply of solar power during the day.”

A headshot of Matt Burness from Vantage Homes.
Matt Barness of Vantage Homes.(attached)

Vantage Homes is one of two companies working on this project.

General Manager Matthew Burness says the home’s added insulation and energy-efficient glazing give the home an energy rating of over seven stars.

“The homes are affordable. This is also due to the small lots of terraced housing and 100 percent solar pre-planning and implementation,” he said.

“So we get some economies of scale and a good supply price, and we also have things like EV chargers ready that are not a big cost if done at the construction stage.

“They are pushing the boundaries of what will become the norm in the future.”


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