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Technology lights the way

Thursday 18 July 2019

Our Councillors have resolved to take another important step towards ensuring Albury is an even cleaner, greener and smarter community in years to come, by endorsing a plan to convert the city’s street lighting to LED technology.

It coincides with our bulk lamp replacement schedule that requires all of our street lights to be replaced every four years. Following council’s decision last week, our old and relatively inefficient halogen street lamps will soon be replaced with modern LED technology.

The project has a net capital cost of about $3M. It is a significant investment but one that will be quickly recovered. LED lights are brighter and more energy efficient than halogen lights, and they also last longer and have lower maintenance costs.

As a result, we expect to save $779,000 a year in power, maintenance and other costs when LED is fully installed, meaning our conversions costs will be fully recovered in just under four years. That will give us brighter and safer streets with improved environmental outcomes and enhanced reliability.

As part of the consultation for this process, council recently held a smart community survey that found lighting/energy efficiency was the community’s top priority. By delivering on this priority, we will be well placed to continue to achieve the vision for our future as set out by the community in our Albury 2030 Strategic Plan.

The LED conversion also provides an opportunity to accelerate our push to become a ‘smart city’.

Smart street lighting networks are becoming recognised as the backbone of smart community developments that can support a range of technological enhancements.

Our new lighting systems will be ‘smart-ready’. That means they can be quickly and cost-effectively adapted to incorporate dual port fixtures. One port will service meters that can not only adjust the amount of light emitted but also monitor for any failures or other problems. The second port will allow us to value-add with smart city devices that will become increasingly common as technology develops.

Essentially, by making our lights smarter, we’ll be able to adopt modern digital services to improve parking, traffic management, water usage measurement and waste management, just to name a few.

The replacement will be carried out by Essential Energy, with work likely to begin later this year.

The project is part of the Southern Lights project, which is a collaboration between 41 councils to deliver LED lighting and digital enabling equipment to 83,000 streetlights across southern New South Wales.

It also ties in with the work we’re doing with our Two Cities One Community partner, Wodonga Council, to deliver smart city solutions to the community on both sides of the border.

Our LED transformation is an important early step on this journey as we continue to build a solid foundation for growth in the digital arena.

At AlburyCity, we’re proud to have played a key role in driving the LED replacement program and we’re excited to be working towards a smart digital future that will help to keep us at the forefront of technology in a rapidly-changing world.

I’d like to thank the community for joining us on this voyage and we look forward to our new street lamps lighting the way forward as we continue to work together towards a brighter future for us all.