Northern Lights Project pays dividends for regional NSW

Friday, 08 July, 2016

Northern Lights Project pays dividends for regional NSW

Seven councils in the Northern Inland region of NSW will benefit from the installation of newly installed energy-efficient street lighting under a project coordinated by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) and funded by the Australian Government.

The Northern Lights Project saw the largest rollout of energy-efficient LED street lighting in regional NSW. Over 5000 lights were replaced by Essential Energy in Armidale Dumaresq, Glen Innes Severn, Guyra, Gwydir, Inverell, Tenterfield and Walcha local government areas.

The project has resulted in participating councils saving over $400,000 per year. Savings were achieved both in energy costs and on light maintenance costs due to an anticipated longer life than the old mercury vapour and compact fluorescent globes.

“What we’d like to do now is keep the energy efficiency ball rolling for councils by conducting a similar project for the remaining six councils in our region who were not involved in the initial project,” said RDANI Senior Project Officer David Thompson. “Finding some government funding to implement another project would be helpful because the capital cost of LEDs is higher, though their payback period is still favourable.

“Ideally, as well as LED street lights, we’d also like to include other energy efficiency initiatives and renewable energy options in the project, and assist both councils and businesses. Making use of the NSW Energy Saving Certificates would help boost the financial attractiveness of the project.”

Thompson said the team is fielding “increasing requests” to talk about the success of the project right across the country. He will be giving a presentation about the project at the 4th Annual Australian Smart Lighting Summit, to be held from 6–7 September at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“This summit is touted as Australia’s leading energy-efficient lighting event focusing on street, outdoor, urban and public lighting, and it is a great opportunity to put Northern Inland NSW in the national spotlight as an innovative and progressive region,” Thompson said.

For more information about the project, visit To register for the smart lighting conference, visit

Pictured: An Essential Energy contractor installing the new LED street lights.

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