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Brighter streets
March 25 2019

Brighter streets

By Peter Hill

WELLINGTON Shire's urban streets will soon take on a brighter hue with council buying more energy efficient street lights.

At its Tuesday's meeting Wellington Shire Council accepted the tender of Sylvania Lighting Australia to replace more than 2250 of council's 80-watt mercury vapour streetlights with a more energy efficient alternative, a LED street light system.

Cr Carolyn Crossley told councillors the project would reflect council's 2013-2017 plan and the goals set out in the Wellington 2030 vision.

Pointing out the 2013-2017 plan states council should demonstrate leadership in efficient energy use Cr Crossley went on to commend Cr John Duncan on his championing of that goal when the plan was drawn up.

“A business case was made to look at implementing a more efficient lighting system throughout the shire.

“Various options were looked at and were finalised on the LED system, it was put in the budget, with funding to support that, (being) along with other Victorian councils successful in getting federal funding to support that case.

“ This is the first stage of the process, the acquisition of the actual lights, and these lights will not only create savings but they are very important in that they decrease in our energy use and certainly (will have) a big impact on saving green house gasses emissions,” she said.

“About 16,000 tones will be saved over the 20 year life span of the lights. So this is really an important stage in meeting one of our strategies.”

Cr Crossley said council could expect the project to be completed by 2015.

The new lighting system is expected to reduce energy use by about 655,000 kWh a year as well the 16,000 tonnes reduction in greenhouse gas over 20 years.

The work on accessing energy efficient street lighting was begun by the Municipal Association of Victoria in September 2012 on behalf of 40 Victorian councils including Wellington Shire Council.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and T5 fluorescent lights (T5) were considered but the more energy efficient light emitting diode lights (LED) were selected and in April 2014 SP Ausnet approved specific LED streetlight for use on the unmetered public lighting network.

LED lights are more energy efficient than either the CFL or T5 alternatives, although they cost more per unit.

Wellington Shire Council had submitted its project plan to the Department of Industry in September 2013, with the department finally responding with approval on May 5 this year.

Council will appoint contractors to install the street lights under a separate contract, requiring the contractor to minimise impact on, and to ensure access to, all properties and businesses during business hours.

Council was advised the project would cost ratepayers $453,319 with the Industry Department contributing the additional $390,094 for the $843,413 scheme.

Source: gippslandtimes.com.au

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