Tuesday, 06 February 2024 11:38

Bright sparks WSROC & Ironbark to save councils $34 million Featured

Streetlights on Sunnyholt and Dunstable Roads in Blacktown City Streetlights on Sunnyholt and Dunstable Roads in Blacktown City WSROC

Western Sydney councils are on track to save an additional $34 million in street lighting energy costs over the next five years, largely thanks to work by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) and environmental consultancy Ironbark Sustainability.

The savings come after a joint submission by WSROC and Ironbark in response to proposed council street lighting tariffs by Endeavour Energy for the 2024-2029 period.

Endeavour Energy is the electricity distributor for much of Greater Western Sydney, including supplying electricity for streetlights in nine of the region’s council areas.

Western Sydney is one of the most rapidly growing regions in Australia; home to 2.4 million people with its population expected to increase to 4.1 million by 2041.

In their submission to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), WSROC and Ironbark challenged Endeavour Energy’s cost estimates for the maintenance of its streetlighting network in Western Sydney.Liverpool Councillor Karress Rhodes, Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale, and Endeavour Energy Business Services GM Andrew Pitman with a new energy saving LED streetlight

“Endeavour Energy, to their credit, worked collaboratively with WSROC, Ironbark and the AER to propose changes to the streetlight tariffs, reducing the overall cost to councils by $34 million.

“Public street lighting costs ratepayers millions of dollars each year, dominating councils’ energy costs,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert.

“So, anything councils can do to lower the costs of streetlighting will allow them to redirect funding to other projects, infrastructure and wider services.”

“The combined work of WSROC and Ironbark has significantly contributed to the revised position by Endeavour, and we are grateful for that.

“The Australian Energy Regulator determination refers to the WSROC and Ironbark submission in several places, particularly in relation to Endeavour Energy’s estimate of its corporate overheads.

“As a result, Endeavour Energy proposed to revise its divisional and corporate overhead rate from 129.43 per cent to 65.0 per cent." 

“Overall, the impact of the changes is to reduce average operating tariffs by 27 per cent and operating and capital tariffs by 17 per cent from those originally proposed by Endeavour.

The nine communities to benefit in Western Sydney are Blacktown City, Blue Mountains City, Camden, Cumberland City, Hawkesbury City, The Hills Shire, Lithgow City, Liverpool City and City of Parramatta local government areas.

This work is part of the Western Sydney Energy Program, a WSROC-coordinated collaboration between Western Sydney councils to reduce energy use and emissions across the region. 

Ironbark Sustainability has worked with councils and their communities for nearly two decades to reduce greenhouse emissions, tackle climate change and implement sustainability projects and programs.

WSROC also participates in Endeavour Energy’s Peak Customer and Stakeholder Committee meetings and is an independent member of the Regulatory Reference Group that provides feedback to Endeavour Energy and the Australian Energy Regulator as part of an agreed engagement process in the drafting of Endeavour Energy’s Draft Revenue Proposal 2024 – 2029.

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