Council is Light Years Ahead to save energy

Emissions cut: Fairfield Council expects to save $2.1 million over 20 years by replacing 1180 old street lights with LED lights. Picture: Simon Bennett
Emissions cut: Fairfield Council expects to save $2.1 million over 20 years by replacing 1180 old street lights with LED lights. Picture: Simon Bennett

FAIRFIELD City Council will replace about 1180 old mercury vapour lights with cheaper, energy efficient LED lights in 11 suburbs.

The scheme will cover more than 7 per cent of Fairfield's total lights in 11 suburbs — Bonnyrigg Heights, Bossley Park, Canley Heights, Canley Vale, Edensor Park, Greenfield Park, Prairiewood, Smithfield, St Johns Park, Wakeley and Wetherill Park.

It is estimated the project will save Fairfield City ratepayers $2.1 million over a period of 20 years and 6480 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

The emissions savings are equivalent to lighting 8100 Australian homes, heating and cooling more than 3200 homes, or taking more than 1500 cars off the road each year.

The $7.8 million project is the brainchild of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), which has brought together nine of its member councils, including Fairfield and Liverpool, to participate.

The group's Light Years Ahead project will replace about 13,000 street lights in nine western Sydney local government areas and save an expected $21 million over 20 years, said to its president, Councillor Tony Hadchiti.

This project which is expected to be completed in May 2016 received funding from the federal government.

Installations of new lights have begun and will continue to March 2016, with the roll-out staggered across the nine councils.

Councillor Hadchiti said street lighting was 55 per cent of council energy costs.

"So anything councils can do to reduce costs allows us to redirect funding to other projects, infrastructure and wider services," he said.

"This is the biggest street lighting replacement project NSW has seen.

"We have 126,955 street lights in our nine councils. This project replaces more than 10 per cent of those lights."

The Light Years Ahead project will be launched at Fairfield City Council tomorrow, Thursday, and will include demonstrations of the new lights.

Fairfield City mayor Frank Carbone said: "This project saves money for ratepayers and it delivers environmental benefits for future generations."

WSROC and council staff will share energy-saving tips with residents, which can also be found at lightyearsahead.com.au .