Big South Australian Street Lighting Update and Webinar Thursday 14th June 2018 2pm (ACST)

Update: As of early August 2018 the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has also confirmed that public lighting services in SA will now be regulated and classified as Alternative Control Services (ACS). Want to knoiw what this means? See our full explanation here.

Well it’s been a big, big, big few months in South Australian street lighting. We’ve had a few LED projects start and some of the larger ones like Onkaparinga wrap-up (ahead of time!). In the last few weeks alone the Cities of Unley and Campbelltown have both resolved to changeover to LEDs through the PLC tariff. And of course, the LGA have announced that they are no longer progressing on their bid to establish a public lighting company to own, operate and manage street lighting.

So now what? 

On the 14th of June Ironbark Sustainability ran a webinar in which Australia's foremost street lighting experts covered everything you need to know to get up to speed.  The webinar covered planning your projects; connecting to the smart city pilots around Australia; tariff negotiations; how to direct key stakeholders and more.

The webinar is now available online! 

Smart Lighting Pilots

The webinar also covered smart lighting pilots that have been delivered by Australian councils and released an Expression of Interest to the attendees to become involved. This EOI is now available to all Australian councils and we are locking in several additional councils as we speak.

Click here to register your interest in the Smart Lighting Pilots. 

Your smart lighting pilots will answer the question of "What is the value of smart lighting and how can this value be realised?"

Each pilot will be designed to create new knowledge and build on the work of other pilots and projects around the country.

Councils can choose from the following areas of value for their pilots:

  • Road safety (focusing on compliance and maintenance improvements)
  • Asset management 
  • Energy management (including dimming) 
  • Air quality 
  • Temperature 
  • The use of cameras, wifi and telecommunication 

It's an exciting time for technology and its' great to see that councils are at the centre of this change!

When the War is Over Got to Get Away

So, wrote Steve Prestwich and so sang the mighty Cold Chisel. The relationship between key public lighting stakeholders has often been sour as power imbalances, spilt-incentives and disagreements played out behind closed doors and occasionally in public.

But wow has this changed recently. 

The last 3 years has seen a transformation, ever since a few local government officers and managers from Charles Sturt and Marion started working with a group of like-minded councils, secured some funding from the LGA and developed the Transitioning to Safe and Sustainable Public Lighting strategy and business case. Ironbark were engaged by Marion to write the report and then start negotiating with SAPN. You can view it here but it’s now out-of-date – back then we didn’t even have LED tariffs so we all flying by the seat of our pants. You can probably guess what happened next... 

Over the next few years representatives from Charles Sturt, Marion and Onkaparinga (supported by Ironbark) met with SAPN under the guise of the Safe and Sustainable Street Lighting (SSSL) Bulk Replacement Project to develop LED tariffs and terms and approved technology and improve relationships. Once relationships improve, anything can happen, as SAPN's Tom Walker, who was an integral part of the discussions, said at the Smart Lighting Summit in September 2017, "It was all about relationships and trust developed along the way. It only happened because we all wanted the same thing". While councils and DNSPs will always have disagreements, common ground can be found. Charles Sturt's Phillip Hewitt said pretty much the same thing a few years earlier when negotiations were in their infancy

Those SSSL meetings were regular and comprehensive with discussions and decisions made around service levels, luminaire ownership, funding models, recycling, AS1158 compliance and multitudes of other issues. To see LEDs now being installed in their tens of thousands only a few years later, those enlightened local government staff who did the heavy lifting in the face of a divided sector deserve acknowledgement. 

Critical Mass of Council Action

Since being engaged to facilitate the SSSL discussions we’ve been developing business cases for the councils who are now installing LEDs. This includes Charles Sturt, Marion, Onkaparinga, Mitcham, Tea Tree Gully, Port Pirie, Holdfast Bay, Victor HarborCampbelltown, Unley, Burnside and a few more just begun. The development of a robust business case is the first step to determine the costs, savings, emissions reductions, legal issues, risks and other opportunities this project presents. 

Following on from that we’ve been providing briefings to councillors who have understandably faced some conflicting information over the last few years. These sessions sometimes run well into the night but they give elected members and senior management the chance to ask every last question and make sure they’re satisfied with progressing a project – most recently this has included Charles Sturt, Onkaparinga and Ironbark’s workshop with a combined meeting with Unley and Campbelltown councillors. Get the right experts in front of the right people at the right time and you’ll see results.

Now that we have a critical mass of projects over the line, the South Australian Smart Lighting Program is ready. This Program ensures the project incorporates a systematic approach to project preparation, design and management and delivers best practice technical and financial outcomes. The projects also learn from the mistakes of LED bulk changeover projects locally and across the country. When we say, "learn from the projects around Australia" we mean learn from these 106 councils who have already undertaken LED bulk changeover projects, otherwise you're just reinventing the wheel and prone to making the same old (really quite annoying) mistakes. 

Webinar Now Available Online!

Our special webinar for South Australian councils is now available online. The webinar covered everything you need to know to ensure your project is completed with all of the risks covered and the best outcomes achieved, including:

  • Project Planning and Design (for example, a straight one-for-one replacement or improving lighting outcomes; risk mitigation; communications; should you undertake an audit first?)
  • Procurement and Engagement (ensuring you’re getting the best price and latest technology; engaging SAPN)
  • Management and Oversight (ensuring data is being updated quickly; the types of incidents to expect and how to deal with them; ensuring installers are being as efficient as possible)
  • Ongoing Street Lighting Challenges and Opportunities (smart lighting pilots and projects; tariff negotiations with SAPN; major roads; decoratives and more)

Watch the webinar below: