As reported in Renew Economy, Climate Spectator, The Australian, The Geelong Advertiser and a dozen other newspapers, Warrnambool City Council are the first Australian council to use LEDs for a bulk changeover of street lights!
This isn't a trial or a few lights here and there - this is a bulk change of all of their residential street lights. Massive financial savings for Council and ratepayers, massive reduction in greenhouse emissions. It's massive all round!
Council received CEEP funding and also financing through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) who released this press release. We've been working with Warrnambool and other councils in the Great South Coast Street Smart Lighting Project (Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Glenelg) from the very beginning and we're rapt with this latest announcement.
Warrnambool are replacing approximately 2,000 residential street lights with LED technology which is forecast to reduce lighting operation and maintenance costs by nearly 70 per cent. Council's use of LED lighting will enable it to reap the benefits of the highly energy efficient lighting, which has a longer forecast life than the compact fluorescent lamps typically used to replace the current inefficient mercury vapour street lighting.
Ironbark prepared the business case for using LEDs and are supporting Council through the design, procurement and installation stages of the project.
The LEDs use 77 per cent less energy than standard mercury vapour street lights. Apart from offering lower costs and reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions, they provide a greater uniformity of light along a street, better colour rendering and visibility, and their light output depreciates less over time.
The new street lights are expected to save the council about $156,000 a year based on current electricity prices.
The CEFC originally approved finance for half the cost of Warrnambool's upgrade using compact fluourescent lamps. The CEFC has extended this finance to about $600,000 to enable the use of LED lighting.
Warrnambool City Council has a population of almost 34,000 and is located just over 260 kilometres south west of Melbourne. The Warrnambool street light upgrade is part of the Great South Coast Street Smart Lighting project which involves six Victorian councils - Warrnambool, Shires of Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Glenelg. The project received a $1.4 million grant from the Australian Government's Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP), covering about half its original $2.8 million cost and will see around 7,500 lights changed over.
Street lighting is the single largest source of energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions for the local government sector and typically accounts for 30 to 60 per cent of emissions.
However the barriers have been removed. Nearly 90% of councils in Victoria are in the process of upgrading their lights to more energy efficient technology with a total of 232,000 lights changing over across the state. This represents cumulative financial savings of $431 million through reduced electricity use and maintenance costs and greenhouse reduction of 1.56 million tonnes - making it the second largest sustainable street lighting program in the world.