CEFC funds switch to 70% cheaper street lights for Vic city | RenewEconomy

CEFC funds switch to 70% cheaper street lights for Vic city

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Warrnambool will replace around 2,000 standard street lamps with LEDs, as part of CEFC-backed move to slash street lighting costs by almost 70%.

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A $1.2 million project backed by funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will make Warrnambool City Council Australia’s first to use highly efficient LED technology for a bulk changeover of residential street lighting.

The council of the Victorian coastal city is set to replace around 2,000 mercury vapour street lamps with LEDs, following the approval of the technology by local network provider Powercor – a move that will slash its street lighting costs by almost 70 per cent.

The CEFC, which provided roughly $600,000 towards the project, has backed street lighting upgrades for several other councils, and says that in Victoria alone, the street lighting upgrade opportunities represent an investment of more than $100 million.

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said he hoped the Warrnambool project – which was originally approved to finance an upgrade using fluorescent lamps, but then extended to the use of LEDs – would lead the way for other councils seeking to cut street lighting costs: the single largest source of energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions for the local government sector.

“LED is still considered a ‘new’ street lighting technology in Australia, but it is highly efficient and has a longer estimated life than other lights typically used to upgrade from inefficient mercury vapour technology,” Yates said.

Paul Brown, managing director of local government consultancy Ironbark Sustainability, who are assisting Warrnambool with the project, said that the new lights use 77 per cent less energy than standard mercury vapour street lights.

“By installing LED technology, Warrnambool is expecting to reduce its current street lighting operation and maintenance costs by 68 per cent,” he said.

LED street lights are also said to provide a greater uniformity of light, better colour rendering and visibility, and less depreciation of light output over time.

The Warrnambool streetlight upgrade is part of the Great South Coast Street Smart Lighting project which involves five other neighbouring Victorian councils.

The project received a $1.4 million grant from the Australian Government’s Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP), covering about half its original $2.8 million cost.

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  1. RobS 6 years ago

    Would love to see the maths on the power consumption of all the street lights in Victoria, the potential saving from a 100% switch to LEDs vs the power output of Hazelwood power station. Anyone got any numbers on the number of street lights in Vic and their average power consumption?

    • wideEyedPupil 6 years ago


      I thought there were other tech similar to LED but different that were favored for outdoor lighting but I can recall what they are called. Airports have deployed them.

      • RobS 6 years ago

        That seems to cover cost, I’m more interested in total Kwh saved by a mass scale transition to LEDs, I suspect changing all street lights and most domestic, retail and commercial lighting to LED would probably save the equivalent of greater than 50% of a large coal fired power station like Hazelwood’s output.

        • David Osmond 6 years ago

          According to the following web site, there’s about 330,000 mercury vapour lamps in VIC, drawing about 80W each. That’s about 26 MW during the night, or just over 300 MWh per day. A 70% reduction would reduce load by a bit over 200 MWh per day, which is the output of a very small 16 MW power station running with a Capacity Factor of 80% I’m afraid.


          • RobS 6 years ago

            I’m very sceptical about their 80W claim, generally you need an 80-100w incandescent to illuminate a room in a house, I was under the impression street lamps were 160-240W.

          • David Osmond 6 years ago

            It sounded surprising low to me too

          • RobS 6 years ago

            If as I suspect it is two to three times higher then the savings from street lights would be on the order of 50MW worth of coal generation capacity, interesting to see what residential, retail and commercial lighting changeover to LED could contribute, I still suspect it would be on the order of 200-300MW for all of Victoria.

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