Warrnambool City Council has replaced about 2,000 residential street lights with ground breaking LED technology to reduce lighting operation and maintenance costs by nearly 70 per cent.
Warrnambool's street lighting is owned and operated by Powercor, however the council pays for this service. The council's use of LED lighting enables it to reap the benefits of the highly energy efficient lighting, which has a longer forecast life than the compact fluorescent lamps typically used to replace the current inefficient mercury vapour street lighting.
Consultants Ironbark Sustainability prepared the business case for using LEDs and supported the council through the design, procurement and installation stages of the project.
The LEDs use 77 per cent less energy than standard mercury vapour street lights. Apart from offering lower costs and reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions, they provide a greater uniformity of light along a street, better colour rendering and visibility, and their light output depreciates less over time.
Warrnambool City Council has a population of almost 34,000 and is located just over 260 kilometres south west of Melbourne.
The CEFC originally approved finance for half the cost of Warrnambool's upgrade using compact fluorescent lamps, but extended this finance to about $600,000 to enable the use of LED lighting. The changeover was completed in late 2015.
The Warrnambool street light upgrade was part of the Great South Coast Street Smart Lighting project which involved six Victorian councils - Warrnambool, Shires of Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Glenelg. 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.
Street lighting is the single largest source of energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions for the local government sector and typically accounts for 30 to 60 per cent of emissions.