Managing household appliances with your phone when you're away from home is just one of the ways smart technology will affect our lives in the future.
We're going to host New Zealand's first ever Smart Energy Expo at the Town Hall in November, where these kinds of technologies will be on display.
We've teamed up with the Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand (SEANZ) and the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles to show Wellingtonians the options for small-scale renewable energy technologies that are available for home and business.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says this is exactly the sort of thing we should be doing to realise our eco-city aims.
"By bringing Wellington residents to an exciting expo on energy efficiency and technologies, we're helping them to make choices that will benefit them financially, benefit the community and our environment, and help keep them warm and comfortable."
The expo will feature exhibitions from New Zealand and international companies, seminars and workshops on renewable energy, demonstrations on smart household appliances, and the latest electric vehicles.
Brendan Winitana, Chair of SEANZ, says it's likely the cost of electricity will continue to escalate under partial private ownership.
"That's one of the reasons we decided to hold this expo - to show consumers there is another way," he says.
"If they can see, use and understand the benefits of these technologies, they can make informed decisions on appliances and energy use."
One of the main aims of Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital vision is to make Wellington a place where talent wants to live so creativity can drive our prosperity. We have found that one of the biggest drawcards for people to want to move here is our stunning natural setting - the harbour and coasts, the hills, parks, reserves and Town Belt.
The Eco-city pillar of the 2040 vision will help guide our work to retain this reputation - including protecting our biodiversity and natural settings. However, much of the work behind it is also to do with science and commerce.
To be an eco-city, we must encourage and develop a 'weightless' economy (paperless, low carbon emissions, mostly technology-related business) and build on our international connections - information technology helps us to do that in a way that's kind to our environment.
Other aims include strengthening our public transport network so it becomes the most convenient choice for Wellingtonians, and encouraging more people to live centrally, with fewer car journeys needed.
Mayor Wade-Brown says encouraging Wellingtonians to make economically viable choices, and help to protect our much-envied natural setting, will go along way to make Wellington an eco-city.
"So we're thrilled to welcome the Smart Energy Expo to the Capital. We can show the rest of the country, and the world, that we're intent on continuing to be one of the best places to live in the world."
The expo will take place on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 November at the Town Hall.
Our Vision in Profile
Several weeks ago, we featured a story about our vision - Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital - with a focus on one of the visions four pillars, Connected City. If you haven't read it, you can find it here:
News - 2040 Vision for Connected City - 07.08.12
This story takes you through the Eco-city pillar, and in the coming weeks, we'll profile People-centred City and Dynamic Central City.
The vision highlights the city's strengths and the importance of new technologies; protecting and using our natural resources sustainably - a huge draw-card for many people to move here; prosperity, and a focus on information or 'weightless' industries.