LEDs to light up residential streets

30 Aug 2018

Newcastle City Council will replace more than 5,000 ageing street lights with environmentally friendly light emitting diodes (LEDs) in a bid to slash the city's annual energy use.

Council has resolved to replace 5,312 sodium and mercury vapour street lights in residential areas with LEDs in a move that will save 1.38 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power annually, or nearly 10 per cent of Council’s entire electricity usage.

The replacement program will reduce Council’s annual electricity bill by $240,000, save $73,000 in maintenance costs, plus produce a one-off energy saving certificate payment of $355,000 issued by the NSW Government.

"Energy use from street lighting accounts for around half of Council's total energy consumption, and LEDs, as well as having a longer life span, provide a more effective, higher quality white light that require less energy," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said

"Replacing the 5,000-plus lights makes sense financially and will help Council meet our 2020 carbon and water management targets of using 30 per cent less electricity and for 80 per cent of all street lighting to use LEDs."

The roll out will take the number of street lights upgraded in Newcastle to around 7,300, more than half of the 14,000 Ausgrid maintains for Council.

"Accelerating the replacement of street lighting means that energy and maintenance savings can be realised far more quickly," Council CEO Jeremy Bath said.

"The alternative is to only replace existing street lighting as it fails. However this would result in continued higher energy costs, consumption and maintenance after our annual electricity bill doubled in recent years.

"As Ausgrid begins scheduling 100,000 light replacements across all Councils in its Network, Newcastle is looking to get ahead of the pack and begin the roll out as soon as possible.”

Ausgrid services around 250,000 streetlights on behalf of 33 local councils, community associations and other authorities.

It has deployed more than 40,000 LEDs since 2013, after trialling the technology in 2009 with the City of Sydney, which recently committed to upgrade all its street lights to LEDs.

Separately, Council resolved at Tuesday night's August meeting in a successful Lord Mayoral Minute to apply for funding under the NSW Government's Clean Energy Program for further roll out of LEDs.