Tamworth Regional Council saves hundreds of thousands switching to LED lights

BRIGHT IDEA:  Energy sustainability officer Tim Hurcum when the light bulb moment was revealed last year. Photo: Jacob McArthur
BRIGHT IDEA: Energy sustainability officer Tim Hurcum when the light bulb moment was revealed last year. Photo: Jacob McArthur

TAMWORTH Regional Council’s power bills have been significantly lighter since it switched its streetlights to LED technology.

We are also saving the equivalent power of 100 homes through the conversion and reducing our carbon dioxide emissions by 685 tonnes per year.

Council sustainability coordinator Tracey Carr

Council knocked more than $130,000 of its street lighting bill in the first half of 2018 with a bold sustainability strategy beginning to pay off.

The $1.35 million project saw 4239 streetlights across the council area switched to LED lamps.

Sustainability coordinator, Tracey Carr, said the project was one of many council was working on to create a more sustainable region.

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“Council’s investment of $1.35 million will be repaid by the costs we save in just over six years, which is a great financial outcome,” she said.

“We are also saving the equivalent power of 100 homes through the conversion and reducing our carbon dioxide emissions by 685 tonnes per year.”

The LED upgrades took place in line with Essential Energy’s routine bulk lamp replacement program.

The new LED streetlights are in Tamworth, Manilla, Barraba, Nundle, Kootingal, Moonbi and Attunga.

The only difference residents may have noticed is that the colour of light that LED lamps emit is whiter in colour than the original lamps.

The project also brought to light the fact council was paying for streetlights which didn’t exist.

Discrepancies were illuminated in the process which culminated in 83 street lights that Essential Energy’s information said were in place, and council was paying consumption charges for, not being able to be located.

There is the potential for council to have new street lights provided by Essential Energy at nil or little cost, as well as reimbursement for charges levied on non-existent lights.

The savings made from the project will be tabled in a report at Tuesday night’s council meeting. The council will also vote for its mayor and deputy mayor on Tuesday.

Col Murray is tipped to retain the mayoral chains unopposed, while deputy Helen Tickle will step down after two years in the role.

Manilla’s Jim Maxwell will nominate for the job, while Russell Webb is also seriously considering a tilt at the post he previously held for six years.

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