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We're converting our street lights to energy-efficient LED lighting

03 April 2019

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are the latest innovation in road lighting technology and they're brightening our District with the help of the NZ Transport Agency.

Photo: (Courtesy of ADLTNZ) Comparison of LED lighting to current lighting on State Highway 22.

Photo: (Courtesy of ADLTNZ) Comparison of LED lighting to current lighting on State Highway 22.

Our Council owns 3,113 street lights across our road network and we've already converted 84% of  those lights to LED, in a fast-tracked programme that brings efficiency and cost savings.

The bulk of our LED upgrade programme has been completed using an increased subsidy rate from NZTA of 85% (compared with the normal subsidy rate of 51%). The remaining non-LED lanterns are decorative type lights (one-off or non-standard lights used mainly in main streets or themed subdivisions) that will be upgraded as appropriate replacements are found or become available.

Where they are installed:

  • Thames - 773
  • Coromandel Town - 123
  • Mercury Bay - 833
  • Tairua-Pauanui - 329
  • Whangamata - 553

“The benefits include both reduced energy and maintenance costs as a direct saving to our ratepayers, as well as less quantifiable benefits such as reduced light spillage to enable a darker night sky,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie.

The street light renewal project has resulted in an energy reduction of 48% in the last 12 months and an associated power cost reduction of 22%. The differential between these two figures is due to the fixed network charges. For the period 1 July 2018 to 31 January 2019, this has resulted in a saving of approximately $40,000 in energy costs. Also, it is expected that the saving in maintenance and replacement costs will be in the order of the same amount.

By June 30 2019, we expect to have saved approximately $90,000 worth of electrical power through LED street light project, compared to our usage in 2017/18.

In addition, we expect to save an additional $90,000 in maintenance costs associated with the installation of LED lights vs the previous streetlights

The saving in electrical energy usage is approximately 750,000 kWh which translates to 100 tonnes of carbon and is equivalent to the volume of power we have used in our Council's main office building for just over two years.

The transition to LED road lighting from sodium lighting and other sources throughout New Zealand has been slowly implemented over the last 10 years and is part of our Council's work to increase resource efficiency. To find out more about NZTA's LED light project click here.

For more information about our Council's response to climate change, click here.