IPWEA report shows LED street lighting would save Australian councils $100 million each year

IPWEA report shows LED street lighting would save Australian councils $100 million each year

The street lighting, smart control and energy industries have united for the release of a major report on the future of Australia’s street lighting that demonstrates the massive economic, environmental and public safety benefits of switching to LED lighting.

An initiative of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA), the Street Lighting and Smart Controls (SLSC) Programme Roadmap makes 15 recommendations to fast-track Australia’s changeover to LED street lighting.

IPWEA modelling shows that if every street light in Australia were changed over to LEDs, the energy used to power those lights and the greenhouse gas emissions produced would be halved. With the addition of smart controls – enabling ‘smart city’ functions such as remote monitoring and lights that adjust light levels at different times of the night or when they sense motion – this figure could be as high as 72%.

In Australia, councils spend about $400 million each year on street lighting. Changing over to smart controlled LEDs would reduce that cost by 25%.

In addition, international studies have indicated that the high-quality white light produced by LEDs may have an important role to play in reducing the fear of crime and in reducing road accidents.

However, only 10% of street lights in Australia have been changed over to LEDs, and almost none have been installed with smart controls. Many street lights still use old mercury vapour technology, which is both inefficient and contains the toxic chemical mercury.

IPWEA CEO Robert Fuller says Australia cannot afford to ignore this opportunity to provide communities with better, safer, cheaper and more efficient street lighting.

“The international community has overwhelmingly embraced the technology, placing Australia in a situation where our journey toward LED street lighting is lagging behind some other countries and regions, including in India, the UK and the US,” he said.

Mr Fuller said the Roadmap provided a clear pathway to achieving a large-scale changeover to LED street lighting.

“All of industry, including peak industry associations, have worked collaboratively with all three tiers of government to produce this Roadmap,” he said.

“The addition of smart controls will make street lights the backbone of smart city infrastructure, an innovation that is destined to become increasingly vital as we strive to meet the demands of our growing cities.”

The Roadmap has been compiled in consultation and with the support of the Department of the Environment and Energy as well as major lighting and smart controls companies. A wide number of parties were consulted including state and territory governments, the Australian Local Government Association, Lighting Council Australia, Energy Networks Australia as well as individual utilities, road authorities, local governments and more than 30 street lighting technology suppliers.

The Roadmap is supported by the SLSC Portal – a free resource for the industry with case studies, reference documents, information on upcoming events and curated news from the street lighting and smart controls world.

To read the Roadmap and for more information on the SLSC Programme, visit the portal at www.slsc.org.au