The Cessnock LGA is about to get a little bit more energy conscious after council agreed to accept a proposal from Ausgrid to replace more than 2000 street lights with LED lamps.
The initiative is part of a wider Ausgrid program whereby the energy provider has offered 33 councils across the state the option to accelerate the replacement of ageing residential streetlights.
In the Cessnock LGA, Ausgrid is proposing to replace 2,013 streetlights.
“Our accelerated replacement of streetlights with LEDs is the first of its kind and Ausgrid is proud to be playing a leading role in this area,” Ausgrid Chief Operating Officer Trevor Armstrong said.
“I’m delighted we will be working together with Cessnock Council on this important initiative.”
Mr Armstrong added that the LEDs would have far reaching economic and energy saving benefits for council.
“These new LEDs are more energy efficient, easier to maintain and will last up to 20 years,” he said.
“It can take up to 95 watts to power older streetlights whereas the new LEDs use just 17 watts.”
It is anticipated that the project will also lower Cessnock Council’s carbon emissions footprint by 640 tonnes a year and will also provide an annual energy saving of 603 megawatt hours.
Work is expected to commence on the project in November and will take three years to complete.
At its October 17 meeting, Cessnock council unanimously agreed to accept Ausgrid’s proposal while endorsing both internal and external borrowing options of up to $1 million for a duration of ten years, with the projected savings used to pay back principal and interest charges on loans.
Ausgrid, in partnership with the South Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) Street Lighting Improvement program (of which council is a member) have worked out detailed business cases for each council.
In Cessnock’s case, if external funds are used for the initial $996,744 investment, it is projected council will save up to $216,838 over the next ten years.
Also, based on current costs the annual energy saving would be $89,413 per annum while savings in maintenance costs would equal $28,476.
Ausgrid currently owns and maintains 5,049 street lights in the Cessnock LGA.