The council has shown its support for a street lighting replacement program that will be good for the environment and save money for ratepayers in the long run.
A report to the February 5 council meeting detailed the plan, involving a roll out of LED lighting with smart technology capability for all street lights in the LGA.
The council has about 3,200 street lights on its inventory and the annual operating cost for the street lighting network (with the current bulbs) is about $540,000 for 2017/18.
The report proposed to change the existing lights to energy efficient LED lights to save money long term.
The council would be required to make a significant upfront capital contribution of $600,000 to achieve this changeover program, however, it has a strategy to fund it if the State Government does not assist.
Cr Leah Ferrara has been a long time supporter of the replacement plan.
“All of the streetlights will eventually be LED. They are starting with the ones that need to be replaced and that are coming to the end of their life, but all of the lights in the new developments will be LED,” Cr Ferrara said.
“The biggest benefit of LED is energy reduction and it helps the council reduce its carbon footprint. The cost saving is up to 50 per cent for the council and that is money that we could use somewhere else.”
The project will save the council about $120,000 a year.
“The payback is something like five years – we get the money back in that time,” she said.
“People might baulk at the initial cost – but they need to understand we are going to make that money back with LED and that is something you don’t get with the old light bulbs.
“It is a big upfront cost but it will benefit us in the long run.”
“Regarding funding – it is not in the current budget we approved, so the council will move money around to pay for it.”
LED lighting benefits:
- reduced electricity costs to the council, with up to 50 per cent cost saving on traditional street lights
- smart technology will indicate any failed lights back to the maintenance authority
- lower maintenance costs
- LEDs are more reliable and have a longer life
- LED lighting levels can be adjusted for high-security areas to increase safety
- They can host community enabling smart technology - other forms of smart technology (eg security, traffic measurements, livestock location, water meter measurements, garbage bin sensors, parking sensors, pedestrian movements and noise monitoring).
It all sounds like a bright idea.