Streetlight retrofit another step toward energy target

Thursday, 06 December

Lismore City Council has retrofitted streetlights across the city in a major energy efficiency project that will save hundreds of thousands in electricity bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Essential Energy technicians have replaced Lismore streetlights with new, energy efficient LEDs. Council’s total electricity costs are approximately $1.2 million per annum and streetlights account for around 30% of that cost.

The retrofit has set Council back close to $770,000 but it is expected to save ratepayers $188,000 per year in electricity costs, giving the project a payback period of around five years.

The city-wide retrofit is part of the Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP) and Council’s ongoing goal to self-generate its electricity from renewable sources by 2023.

Environmental Strategies Officer Sharyn Hunnisett says the REMP is being delivered in two stages – stage one includes demand reduction such as streetlight retrofits and solar behind the meter (on-site solar) while stage two includes a mid-scale 5MW renewable energy plant for which a feasibility study is underway.

“This streetlight retrofit will reduce our energy consumption, save money and prevent 250 tonnes of CO2-e entering the Earth’s atmosphere each year,” Ms Hunnisett said.

“Energy efficiency is paramount to our renewable energy goals, and we have worked hard to be a leader in that space. Working toward our renewable energy goal has meant looking at our entire operation from the ground up. It has been a whole-of-organisation approach and has really changed the way we think about building, design and power generation at all levels.”

Essential Energy streetlight manager Waide Elliott said the distributor is working closely with councils across its footprint and is committed to providing information and services that are appropriate to councils’ needs and those of the communities they serve.

“The new LED streetlighting for Lismore will not only provide a more reliable, better quality lighting service, but will deliver savings of more than 50% in energy consumption,” Mr Elliott said.

“This type of light also provides future potential for other ‘smart’ technologies to be added that will allow Essential Energy to more effectively manage the streetlight network and respond more promptly to potential outages.”

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