Tuesday, 26 May 2015 17:38

Lighting up Western Sydney

Light Years Ahead launch at Penrith City Council: Mayor Kim Ford (Hawkesbury), Fiona Scott MP (Lindsay), WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti, Mayor Greg Cummings (Holroyd), Louise Markus MP (Macquarie), Hon Karen Andrews MP (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science), Mayor Ross Fowler OAM (Penrith) [left to right] Light Years Ahead launch at Penrith City Council: Mayor Kim Ford (Hawkesbury), Fiona Scott MP (Lindsay), WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti, Mayor Greg Cummings (Holroyd), Louise Markus MP (Macquarie), Hon Karen Andrews MP (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science), Mayor Ross Fowler OAM (Penrith) [left to right] JayLa Photographer

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council’s (WSROC) energy-saving Light Years Ahead project kicked off this month with a spectacular launch in Penrith on May 22nd.

The launch follows months of collaboration between nine Western Sydney councils, who have joined forces to save costs and reduce energy consumption in the region.

Light Years Ahead will replace approximately 13,000 mercury vapour street lights with more energy efficient LED lights, saving councils an estimated $21 million over 20 years at current electricity prices.

The Honourable Karen Andrews MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Industry and Science, along with Western Sydney representatives at a federal, state and local level turned out to see months of planningcome together.

WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti said the project will bring many benefits to both councils and their residents.

“Public lighting costs millions of dollars each year, with street lights dominating around 55 per cent of councils’ energy costs.  Anything councils can do to reduce costs allows us to redirect funding towards other projects, infrastructure and wider services,” he said.

“This is the biggest street lighting replacement project NSW has ever seen. We have 126,955 street lights in our nine councils. This project replaces over 10 per cent of those lights.

These savings are significant and show what councils can achieve when they work together,” Cllr Hadchiti said.

“WSROC has shown that they can lead the way, ensuring both financial and environmental sustainability for our councils, especially in relation to the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future program,” he said.

The highlight of the launch was a presentation showing LED lights being replaced by Endeavour Energy crews, who will be carrying out the installationsover the coming months. Guests also had the chance to get up close to an LED light for group photos.

Installation of new lights will begin from June 2015, with the roll outstaggered across the nine participating councils – Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith.

“We hope this project is the start of future upgrades, so we can continue the great work we’ve started,” said Cllr Hadchiti

Mayor of Penrith, Cllr Ross Fowler OAM, also attended on the day, stating “This project shows Penrith and other Western Sydney councils’ commitment to working together on big issues affecting us all.”

“There is no bigger threat to our communities than climate change. Through this project Western Sydney will be saving 74,000 tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent to taking 17,209 cars off the road each year,” he said.

“Penrith first turned on its street lights 125 years ago. The next 125 years will show everyone our region is committed to ‘greener’ street lighting solutions,” said Cllr Fowler.

Not just about street light replacement, Light Years Ahead project also has a strong community engagement component; encouraging residents to review their own energy practices and reduce household power bills.

An educational event kit will travel to community events across Western Sydney during the roll-out, offering energy saving tips and tricks for residents. 

Further information on community event dates will be available on the Light Years Ahead website in the coming weeks – www.lightyearsahead.com.au.

This $7.8 million dollar project began in June 2014 and is expected to be completed by May 2016.

This project received funding from the Australian Government.

Department of Industry and Science logo

The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.

 

Related articles: 

Light Years Ahead project page

Light Years Ahead website

Media release: Western Sydney councils see the (LED) light

WSROC e-News: Western Sydney moving Light Years Ahead

Last modified on Friday, 29 May 2015 11:43