23 October 2020

How many people does it take to change 5487 lightbulbs?

| Michael Weaver
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QRPC worker in a crane

QPRC is upgrading 5487 streetlights to LEDs as part of a major energy-efficiency project. Photo: Supplied.

How many people it takes to change 5487 lightbulbs* is the question being answered by the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, which is investing significant energy in a project to upgrade every streetlight in the shire.

Council says the investment in energy-efficient LED lightbulbs for all of its 5487 streetlights will cost about $2.7 million to complete, but the costs are expected to be recouped in around 5.5 years.

The switch to LED technology will see a 1402 MWh per year reduction in power use, delivering savings of approximately $441,000 each year in maintenance and electricity costs, and cutting 1334 tons of CO2-e emissions.

LED streetlights consuming around 17 watts each will replace existing high-energy lights consuming between 50 and 100 watts.

“Streetlighting is a significant expense for Council, costing $486,000 in energy costs alone in 2019, and with 5487 streetlights across Council’s footprint, the upgrade will go a long way to reducing costs and providing significant long-term savings,” QPRC Mayor Tim Overall said.

“LEDs are far more energy-efficient, require less maintenance and have a significantly longer life.”

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Essential Energy is responsible for the maintenance and billing of streetlights.

Its streetlight manager Adele Finch said they had been working closely with councils across its distribution area to reduce energy costs and emissions.

“The new LED streetlighting for Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council will not only provide a more reliable, better quality lighting service, but will deliver savings of more than 50 per cent in energy consumption,” Ms Finch said.

“This type of light also provides the potential for other ‘smart’ applications to be added and will allow Essential Energy to more effectively manage the streetlight network and respond more promptly to potential outages.”

Work to upgrade the streetlights is part of a major energy-efficiency initiative identified in QPRC’s Operational Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2030.

Ms Finch said the streetlight project has received valuable input from the Southern Lights NSW Project, whose partners are working closely with Essential Energy to ensure the successful delivery of more than 160,000 streetlights serving more than 85 councils across NSW and parts of southern Queensland.

*Answer: Sixteen.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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