Work to upgrade more than 6,900 Wagga Wagga streetlights to energy efficient technology will start in February as part of a major project that will save the city in electricity costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The switch to LED technology will see an estimated 1,595 MWh per year reduction in power use, delivering savings of more than $450,000 each year in maintenance and electricity costs.
Wagga City Council Director Corporate Services Natalie Te Pohe said Council was committed to becoming more sustainable, and the LED upgrade is just one initiative in Council’s strategies to achieve energy and operational efficiencies in the future.
“Streetlighting is a significant expense for Council, costing around $1.5 million in the 2018-19 financial year, and with more than 7,200 streetlights across Council’s footprint, the upgrade will go a long way to reducing costs and providing significant long-term savings,” Mrs Te Pohe said.
“LEDs are far more energy efficient, require less maintenance and have a significantly longer life.
“Council is investing $2.6M to complete the bulk upgrade, with the costs expected to be recouped within a period of six years.”
The lighting upgrade will include various areas that have been identified as crime areas, with a focus on graffiti hotspots.
There will also be changes in lighting levels at future growth and development areas, such as the Health and Knowledge Precinct, Active Travel Plan corridors and collector roads.
Essential Energy streetlight manager Waide Elliott said the organisation continues to work closely with councils across its distribution area and is committed to providing information and services that are appropriate to councils’ needs and their communities.
“Essential Energy is responsible for the maintenance and billing of more than 160,000 streetlights serving more than 86 councils across New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland,” Mr Elliott said.
“Public lighting plays an important role in providing safe, secure and attractive public areas for both pedestrians and motorists. It also represents between 25 and 70 per cent of any individual local government’s corporate energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
“The new LED streetlighting for Wagga will not only provide a more reliable, better quality lighting service, but will deliver savings of more than 50 per cent in energy consumption.
“This type of light also provides future potential for other ‘smart’ applications to be added and will allow Essential Energy to more effectively manage the streetlight network and respond more promptly to potential outages,” Mr Elliott said.