Lighting Industry, News, Outdoor

16 Victoria councils to save millions with 23,000 LED streetlights

One of Australia’s biggest LED rollouts commenced in Victoria last month, with some 23,000 streetlights being changed from mercury vapour lamps to more energy efficient LED lamps.

Comprising of the entire central, north central, west and north western regions of Victoria, Hepburn council has kicked off the big switch, and work will start on Swan Hill next week and Ararat soon after.

Over the coming months, 13 other councils, Buloke, Central Goldfields, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Loddon, Mildura, Mount Alexander, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees,  Yarriambiack and West Wimmera, will follow suit.

Councillor Bill McArthur, president of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) said: ‘This project is the largest ever energy efficiency project undertaken by Australian councils. Combined cost savings for councils are estimated at $340 million over the life of the energy efficient lights, and will save a projected 1.21 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.’

The LED streetlights are expected to last up to five times longer than current lights, and use 77 per cent less power to run.


LED funding negotiated

Robyn Major, manager of sustainable environment at City of Greater Bendigo, said it had been a challenge to secure an all-LED upgrade. ‘This took negotiation, discussion and revisiting business cases for councils to make the choice and commit to the extra funds required to go LED,’ she said but confirmed: ‘All are going LED.’

The entire cost of the streetlight upgrade is expected to come to approximately $11.6 million, of which $5 million funding was received from the Australian Government and $6.5 million from the local government partners. Funding applications began in February last year.

The Wimmera Mallee Sustainability Alliance and the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance have also supported the project, which is expected to run until June 2016 with the city of Greater Bendigo acting as the lead council for the project.


Victorian procurement

The street lighting infrastructure is operated and maintained by Powercor on behalf of the local government partners, while the LED lamps being installed are made by Gerard Professional Solutions, and assembled in Australia.

The councils involved have taken advantage of the Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) procurement arm which currently has a total of 55 councils involved with energy efficient street lighting changeover projects. Seventy-three councils have access to MAV’s energy efficient street lighting hardware contract.

The MAV engages specialist consultancy Ironbark Sustainability to support councils through the energy-efficient street lighting procurement process. Lux Review has previously reported that some streetlight suppliers in Victoria find this process bad for competition.

McArthur, who is president of the MAV, said: ‘These are exciting outcomes for councils and communities. By working with local government and suppliers, we are cutting procurement costs and delivering more sustainable outcomes for ratepayers.’