Fact Sheet: Sustainable Street Lighting Upgrade Program

Baw Baw Shire Council adopted the public lighting strategy in April 2013. One of the actions in the strategy was to improve the efficiency of street lighting and seek funding opportunities for public lighting and sustainability.

This fact sheet outlines the changes to the current 80 watts mercury vapour street lights to energy efficient lights and the benefits of the program.

Street lighting alone contributes to around 40 per cent of Council’s total operational greenhouse emissions. Changing the street lights will reduce carbon emissions by around 1,150 tonnes each year. Upgrading the street lighting with energy efficient lights will reduce about 65 per cent in energy and maintenance costs per annum.

The street lighting changeover

How will the works affect my street on the day of the changeover?

The changeover of the street lights invlves a single elevated work platform with two to three crew members. It takes less than five minutes to replace a street light so any disruptions to traffic flow in your street should not last long. Cars can remain parked on the street.

Quick Facts

  • Street lighting contributes to 40 per cent of Council's total greenhouse emissions.
  • The new street lights will reduce carbon emissions by 1,150 tonnes each year.
  • The new street lighting will reduce energy and maintenance costs by 65 per cent per annum.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who provides street lighting in Baw Baw Shire?

AusNet Services (formerly known as SP AusNet) provide public lighting services to Baw Baw Shire’s residential roads and roads managed by VicRoads (arterial roads). These services include replacing globes at regular intervals, and maintenance of the lamps and poles. The electricity distributors also maintain the wiring, transformers and sub stations that make up the electricity network.

Who pays for residential street lighting?

Local Councils pay for the public lighting service (from the electricity distributors) and for the electricity (from the electricity retailers). In the case of Baw Baw Shire Council, the electricity distributor is AusNet Services and the electricity retailer is ERM Business Energy.

Why are the lights being changed over?

The old lights are approaching the end of their useful life and need to be replaced. Over the next six months, most of the 80 watts mercury vapour lights will be replaced with more energy efficient LED lights. This will reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs by about 65 per cent and save around 1,150 tonnes of greenhouse emissions per annum.

How is the changeover project funded?

The changeover project is funded by three sources:

  • The Australian Government's Community Energy Efficiency Program - $489,547
  • A loan from Clean Energy Finance Corporation - $546,981
  • Baw Baw Shire Council - $186,900

How to report faults?

AusNet Services is responsible for the operation and maintenance of street lighting in Baw Baw Shire. You can report faults to 13 17 99 or email AusNet Services.

Why did Council choose these particular lights?

The 18 watts street LED lighting system is one of the most energy efficient lighting options that have been approved by AusNet Services, the distribution company that owns the lighting infrastructure. The lights have been tested to ensure they meet relevant Australian Standards for safety and light levels.

How does the level of light compare to the old lights?

The new lights will be similar in brightness to the old lights but the light will spread more evenly along the footpath. Visibility will be improved and colours will look more natural. The new lights might appear brighter to soem residents, particularly if the old lights were worn with age. The new lights produce fewer glares than old lights.

What are the main benefits offered by the new lights?

  • Greater uniformity of light across and along the street.
  • Better colour rendering and visibility.
  • Less depreciation of the light output over time.
  • Lower glare and long life of about 40,000 hours.
  • Reduction in energy use, maintenance costs and carbon emissions.

How long do the lights last?

The luminaire (the main body of the light) will last more than 15 years, the photoelectric cells last eight years, and the poles last around 35 years.

Are the old lights being recycled?

Yes, the old lanterns will be separated into their recycling capabilities by a facility in Morwell. It has an agreement with the recycling partner, OneSteel, that the old lanterns will be recycled on a cost-neutral basis.

Who actually owns the lights?

The lights are owned and maintained by energy distribution business AusNet Services. AusNet Services is also responsible for supplying electricity to homes and businesses in the south-east Melbourne and Gippsland region. For more information, go to the AusNet Services website.