A total of 126,955 street lights across nine Sydney councils that account for more than 50% of the energy costs will be replaced with LEDs as part of the biggest street lighting replacement project in the history of NSW.
The City of Sydney was the first council in Australia that began replacing street lights with efficient LED lights in 2012.
The Light Years Ahead project – launched by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) last week in Penrith – will save councils an estimated $21 million over 20 years at current electricity prices.
Set to be rolled out across Blacktown, the Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith, the project will replace approximately 13,000 high emission mercury vapour street lights with low emission LED (or equivalent) lights.
As far as funding is concerned, the Government of Australia will contribute a total of $5.3 million, while participating Western Sydney councils will contribute $2.6 million.
“Public lighting costs millions of dollars each year, with street lighting dominating 55% of our councils’ energy costs. So, anything councils can do to reduce costs allows us to redirect funding to other projects, infrastructure and wider services. We hope this project is the start of future upgrades, so we can continue the great work we’ve started,” said WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti in a news release.
“There are major benefits for this project – not just the cost savings to councils and residents. By reducing our collective energy consumption we are making a major reduction in our carbon footprint. These savings are significant and show what councils can achieve when they work together. WSROC has shown that they can lead the way in ensuring both financial and environmental sustainability for our councils, especially in relation to the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future program.”
Installation of new lights will begin from June 2015.
“This project shows Penrith and other Western Sydney councils’ commitment to working together on big issues affecting us all,” said Mayor of Penrith, Cllr Ross Fowler OAM.
“There is no bigger threat to our communities than climate change. Through this project Western Sydney will be saving 74,000 tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent to taking 17,209 cars off the road each year. Penrith first turned on its street lights 125 years ago. The next 125 years will show everyone our region is committed to ‘greener’ street lighting solutions.”