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Lighting Latrobe

As the hub of Victoria’s brown coal generated electricity industry the Latrobe City municipality is often perceived to be slow in up taking energy efficient technology. Latrobe City Council has embarked on an energy efficiency upgrade of its Category P street lights and internal lights in large community buildings with LED lighting replacing existing lights and providing a visual demonstration of Latrobe City’s ambition to pursue a significantly more sustainable future.

Latrobe City Council has contributed $1 million and received $1.844 million from the Australian Government over three years to reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from lighting in residential streets and council buildings.

The project, “Lighting Latrobe”, managed entirely by council, involves the replacement of approximately 6000 80 watt mercury vapour street lights with 18 watt LED lights on residential streets and the replacement of over 2200 lights in five large community buildings with LEDs.

The overall objectives are:

  • Maximisation of energy savings within project budget
  • Maximisation of greenhouse gas emissions reduction
  • Reduction in Council electricity costs
  • Demonstration of sustainable resource usage

The installation of LED lighting options as opposed to other energy efficient options provides a much more visual demonstration of Latrobe City’s ambition to pursue a significantly more sustainable future. It also provides maximum energy and financial savings, greatest greenhouse gas emissions reductions, greater uniformity of light and colour rendering index, lower light depreciation over time, longer life with the lowest maintenance costs and they contain no mercury to dispose of.

The project will complement a comprehensive inventory of Council owned street lights and poles and further strengthen requirements for energy efficiency in new subdivisions and council buildings. 

In total, this project is expected to cost $2.84 million with significant annual financial and environmental savings of approximately $590,000 in electricity and maintenance costs, over 2 million kWh of electricity and 2700 tonnes of CO2 eq. The majority of works have been undertaken and are now nearing completion.

Achievements and results

This project has resulted in reduced energy use, electricity and maintenance costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Results to date are as follows:

Building lights upgrade:

  • 2292 lights have been changed to LEDs.
  • 199,400 kWh of electricity will be saved per year.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 271 tonnes CO2eq. per year.
  • Energy efficiency awareness has been raised via demonstrations, conversations, media releases and the like.

The street lighting part of the project is not yet complete but expected results have been calculated as follows:

Street lighting upgrade:

  • 5517 lights have been changed to LEDs to date with a further 312 to go.
  • 1,857,032 kWh of electricity will be saved each year.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 2433 tonnes CO2eq. per year.
  • Energy efficiency awareness has been raised via demonstrations, conversations, posters, signage etc.

Actual electricity savings are starting to be realised, evidenced through electricity invoices. Overall this project is expected to reduce Council’s total corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 17% compared to 2012/13 emissions.

Along with reductions in greenhouse emissions, electricity usage and cost the project will reduce maintenance time and costs and waste to landfill over an extended period of time.

As a direct result of this project, council has determined to allow the installation of only LED streetlights in new subdivisions. All new council buildings and renovations will also use only energy efficient lighting, predominantly LED.  Existing buildings are gradually being retrofitted with LED lighting.

Recycling has been a focus of this project with almost all parts of all lights being recycled.

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