How many councils does it take to change a lightbulb?
The start of April 2015 marked the installation of the 200,000th energy efficient LED streetlights changeover in Australia, with over 60 Australian councils coming together to commence one of the largest and most beneficial government energy-saving tactics in recent years.
The benefits of LED streetlights
What if we told you an incredible 30-60% of greenhouse gas emissions produced by Australian Government initiatives comes from street lights dotted along our roads and pathways? It’s almost impossible to believe that the lights which have become a symbiotic part of our many cities dazzling landscapes are having such a broad and significant impact on both our excessive CO2 emissions, but also our local council’s budget. It’s reported that the essential road and safety structures cost at least $400 million a year to keep alight!
But that doesn’t mean we’re all going to be left in the dark. A very bright idea that had come to fruition is to replace the outdated and expensive mercury vapour lighting with light-emitting diodes (LED) which could save local councils up to $87 million a year in costs and 720,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from being produced according to the Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA). The clever councils partaking in the massive project include Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
The responsibility of implementing energy-saving measures within the local community is a big one, and with councils already feeling the pressure to make gas emission reductions to counter to numerous energy-guzzlers such as public swimming pools, sporting centers and council buildings which come under the aegis of the council, the LED streetlights replacement program is both highly-achievable and cost effective.
But the benefits don’t stop there – installing LED streetlights also means the lifespan on streetlights is extended to around 20 years, meaning less dead-lamps in our streets and less maintenance costs associated with upkeep of the many thousands of street lights spanning our towns and cities. Furthermore, LEDs produce low glare and provide much better direct illumination. Add this to a 70% reduction in energy use, and we have ourselves a winner.
“Through education and engagement with regional people, this project aims to create more energy efficient and sustainable communities and is expected to pull together the expertise, resourcing and financial resources required to take energy efficiency to the next level,” says an Expotrade spokesperson.
In Sydney alone, the The Light Years Ahead project launched by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) could save the council over $21 million over a 20 year span.
“There is no bigger threat to our communities than climate change, through this project Western Sydney will be saving 74,000 tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent to taking 17,209 cars off the road each year.” Penrith mayor Ross Fowler commented.
Here’s to a brighter future for Australia, and if you haven’t made the switch in your own home already check out our Find The Right Bulb for Your Business post which compares every type of bulb on the market and – you guessed it – LEDs take the cake when it comes to efficiency, life-span and cost savings.
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