Councils switch to LED lighting

Several local councils are opting to replace street lights with efficient LEDs (light-emitting diode) and enter into new contracts with SA Power Networks (SAPN) after the Local Government Association of South Australia negotiated a better deal with the electricity distributor.

LGA president and Tumby Bay mayor Sam Telfer said the contracts would start in January 2020, covering more than 90 per cent of the state's councils.

"Electricity is a major cost for councils, but working together and aggregating our spend allows us to lock in massive savings for our communities," he said.

"Over the past six months LGA Procurement has negotiated new electricity contracts on behalf of the sector that will deliver around $14 million in savings to participating councils.

"This is an outstanding result that will drive downward pressure on rates."

Wudinna District Council mayor Eleanor Scholz said the council had recently engaged SAPN to replace its ageing public lights to LED lights.

"The newer lights require less maintenance and are of greater energy efficiency," she said.

"This will provide considerable energy cost savings for council.

"The new lights provide a crisper, white lights which meet Australian standards requirements."

The Ceduna District Council has not made a decision on new lighting, with the matter still to be taken to councillors.

Chief executive officer Geoff Moffatt said they would give the matter serious consideration.

"Council is keen to upgrade to LED lighting wherever it is possible and economically viable," he said.

"If we can have better, more reliable street lighting, and at a lower cost, then of course we would do it."

Mr Moffatt said they would "need to do the sums" before making a final consideration.

The Streaky Bay District Council opted to purchase its 325 lights, which were replaced with LEDs in mid-October.

Elliston council had its 217 lamps replaced however elected to continue to lease the lamps from SAPN.

Elliston District Council chief executive officer Geoff Sheridan said the council would still see savings through the energy efficient globes.

Other councils across Eyre Peninsula have taken the opportunity to replace their street lighting, including at Tumby Bay where the council voted in early October to purchase its 518 street lights outright and replace them 453 LED street lights, spending $180,000 on the upgrade.

The Lower Eyre District Council will lease the lamps from SAPN, while the Port Lincoln City Council is in the process of putting together a business case.

Mr Telfer said the contracts' energy provider for street lighting, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings also used 60 per cent renewable energy from a wind farm.