Councils across Sydney, the Central Coast and Hunter regions of New South Wales are expecting huge savings in energy and maintenance costs.

This will be the first grid-wide rollout in Australia. Energy minister Chris Harcher announced the deal after eight successful streetlighting trials conducted over 18 months in Sydney and the Central Coast. Results from the trials showed that: electricity use was reduced by 43-70 per cent depending on the sources the LEDs replaced, that short-term maintenance was minimal, and that residents preferred the light output of LEDs to that of traditional lamps.

The project will cover 41 councils across the Ausgrid network and Sylvania Lighting Australasia will supply equipment. Ausgrid owns and maintains 250,000 streetlights on behalf of the 41 councils, and reckons Sylvania will supply about 10,000 LED lanterns a year.

‘When a standard light on a suburban street fails and cannot be fixed, it will now be replaced by a super-efficient LED,’ said Chris Hartcher, Australian energy minister. ‘The lifespan of LEDs is expected to be more than 20 years, meaning councils will pay a lot less for both maintenance and power.’

Each residential streetlight in the area concerned uses between 46 and 95W each – the replacement LEDs will use 29W.

‘Public lighting is an essential service for the community that helps make our roads and public areas safer for pedestrians and motorists,’ added Hartcher. ‘It’s great to see a local company at the forefront of this technology, helping to make a vital community service more efficient and cost effective.’