Lighting Industry, News, Outdoor

Report: Utilities block LED street lighting in Australia

While the country’s local government councils are ultimately responsible for street lighting and are pushing for LEDs, utilities own more than 90 percent of the systems and are delaying the switch from conventional technology.

That’s according to a new practice note, Towards More Sustainable Street Lighting from the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, as reported by The Fifth Estate, an Australian website that covers sustainable property and the built environment.

‘The IPWEA note says councils are pushing for lighting changes at a rate faster than utilities are willing to undertake,’ Fifth Estate writes.

Utilities are grossly overstating the value of their existing lighting assets and are thus inflating the values of either writing down those units or of the buy-out costs that a council would have to pay the utility to replace them, the report claims.

According to the story, ‘Where councils own street lighting, however, LEDs have taken off, with 27 of the 30 largest LED street lighting deployments in the world being council-owned.’

This same issue surfaced last year, when Ausgrid, an electricity distributor in the Australian state of New South Wales, said that it was important to roll out new technology in a cost-effective manner.

Councils are interested in LED street lighting to help cut electricity costs and CO2 emissions, and to improve safety, the story states.

Photo: The Sydney shuffle. LED lit George Street in Sydney, the first Australian city to widely move from conventional street lighting to LEDs. Image is a screen grab from the IPWEA report, downloadable here.