FINANCE

Brighter Approach to Streetlighting Will Save Money

Saturday 24 November 2012, 2:30PM
By Far North District Council
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NORTHLAND

Replacing the district’s streetlights with energy-efficient, long-lasting lights will save Far North ratepayers about $200,000 a year.

The Far North District Council plans to replace sodium and mercury streetlights in remote areas of the district with light-emitting diode (LED) lights.

The new lights cost $500 each, but have a life of about 20 years and use half the electricity of conventional lights which cost about $200 and last about 2.5 years.

Council will gradually replace streetlights in urban areas with energy-efficient metal halide lights which have a shorter life than LED lights, but cost about $100 each.

Infrastructure and Assets Manager David Penny says installing long-life LED lights in remote areas and replacing groups of lights when a technician is in the area will cut travel and maintenance costs by about 40%.

“It costs $300-$500 to send a technician out to replace lights in far-flung areas, so there is a compelling economic argument for switching to lights that have a longer life-span.”

Phasing in energy-efficient, long-life lights across the district could reduce annual streetlighting power costs of $500,000 to $300,000.

“That figure includes Top Energy line charges of $216,372, but we’re hoping to negotiate a lower price with the lines company.”

The new strategy represents a shift from a ‘fix it when it breaks’ approach - which is

costly and annoying for ratepayers - to an asset management approach, which involves the planned replacement of lights according to their known life-span.

“The intent is to drastically reduce ad hoc repair. Council is constantly looking for innovative infrastructure solutions that save money and deliver more value for ratepayers.”