Regional energy project saves New England Electorate councils $400,000 a year

06 Apr 2016



The Deputy Prime Minister and the Member for New England Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the successful completion of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland’s (RDANI) Northern Lights project to install LED street lights across seven local Councils, with energy savings beating all forecasts.


The project delivered the first broad scale rollout of LED street light technology in regional NSW, with more than 5,000 lights being replaced by Essential Energy in Armidale Dumaresq, Glen Innes Severn, Guyra, Gwydir, Inverell, Tenterfield and Walcha Local Government Areas.


Mr Joyce said the Northern Lights project received $576,000 in funding from the Coalition Government to assist Councils with the capital cost of the new lights. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage also provided funding for the services of a lighting expert to assist in project development.


According to RDANI Chair, Russell Stewart, the complex project was completed on time and on budget.


RDANI Senior Project Officer, David Thompson co-ordinated the Northern Lights project.


“LED street lights consume far less energy at around 24 watts each and replaced existing high-energy lights consuming between 50 and 100 watts,” Mr Thompson said.


“At the outset, we estimated participating Councils would save in excess of $200,000 per year and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,000 tonnes of CO2 per year,” he said.


“Having analysed and compared the seven Councils’ street light power bills from January 2015 and January 2016, we can now see that participating councils have cut energy and maintenance (SLUOS) costs, by a combined $400,000 per year. The cost-benefits of this project are also beyond expectations with an average pay-back period of 1.8 years.”


The Northern Lights project also delivered energy efficiency education. Peter Stanley was employed as an Energy Efficiency Education Officer and travelled the region with custom-built educational displays to physically highlight how households and businesses could cut their energy costs.


The dedicated Northern Lights Project website is:



Caption: RDANI Snr Project Officer David Thompson discussing LED streetlights with Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and the Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce.


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