LED lighting to save millions

The Local Government Association (SA) is working towards transitioning councils to LED street lighting, with projections of saving South Australian communities up to $196 million over a twenty-year period.

While councils currently contract SA Power Networks (SAPN) to manage their street lighting, LGA President Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg said ratepayers would save millions if councils owned and managed these assets themselves.

“We understand SA Power Networks are endeavouring to lock councils into long term unfair contracts to transition to LED street lighting where they dictate the charges,” said Mayor Rosenberg.

“Any short term savings will be eroded over the life of these contracts through annually increasing SAPN tariffs.

“LED technology isn’t new, but SAPN is only now trying to sign up councils to change over to LED street lighting because of the pressure they are feeling from the LGA and a disgruntled sector.”

The business case developed by the LGA demonstrates savings of between $146 million and $196 million over a twenty year period, when compared to councils signing LED contracts with SAPN.
This would be in addition to savings of around $7 million a year across the sector as a result of the reduced energy required to power LED lighting.

More than 20 per cent of South Australia’s streetlights are located in the State’s regional areas.

Mayor Rosenberg said the LGA is currently considering various operational and governance models for a local government public lighting company, with a business plan to be finalised by the middle of the year.

“It’s clear our State is facing some very real issues with the cost and supply of electricity, and councils aren’t immune from these rising costs.

“We can’t control the market, but we can take control of our own destiny through owning and running our own LED street lighting as a sector, and passing the savings onto ratepayers.”