Invercargill electricity company PowerNet is offering a tech-savvy family a two-bedroom ''smart house'' rent-free for a year.

The house is equipped with the latest technology, such as solar panels, a battery, energy efficient appliances and even an electric car.

PowerNet projects manager Dyson Gentle said today the aim is to find out more about the practicalities of living with new energy technologies.

"Free rent, free use of a car for a year, so that's a pretty sweet deal.

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''In return they help us out with promoting the project, just in terms of letting the public know, and the community know, how these technologies affect them and allow them to access savings with their power," he said.

The chosen family will be expected to make their experiences known via the media.

Hundreds are expected to apply.