Current Projects

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Street Lighting Improvement Program

SSROC established and oversees the Street Lighting Improvement Program to implement the recommendations of an extensive review of street lighting undertaken by its members. 

There are currently 29 councils participating in the Program, ranging from southern Sydney through to the Central Coast and Hunter.  Collectively, the 230,000+ street lights in the participating councils’ jurisdictions constitute over 90% of Ausgrid’s street lights and councils pay more than $68m per year for street lighting services and energy.

Key areas of progress to date include saving councils more than $110m over four regulatory pricing reviews, securing deployment of more than 120,000 energy efficient street lights with recurrent savings of millions of dollars per year, securing reform and increased funding for the NSW Traffic Route Lighting Subsidy Scheme, securing a mandatory NSW Public Lighting Code and securing improved street lighting maintenance and information provision for councils.

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Street Lighting Improvement Program

The main issues that councils are seeking further progress on include:

  1. Replacing Street Lights on Main Roads with LEDs & Smart Controls

In late 2021, SSROC reached a provisional agreement with Ausgrid to extend the accelerated LED replacement program to main roads (as well as the remaining non-LED lights on residential roads). The proposal includes co-deployment with smart controls on main roads and provision for each light to accept future smart city sensors. The approach being taken will be one of the most advanced lighting deployments of its type in the world. It would take total LED deployments to more than 90% of all Ausgrid lighting by 2024 (currently at 130,000 out of 260,000 lights on the network).

To date, 25 of 33 councils served by Ausgrid (encompassing more than 80% of the lights on the network) have provisionally accepted Ausgrid’s proposal. A finalised offer from Ausgrid is expected in the coming weeks.

SSROC is continuing to support councils with their review of the Ausgrid offer and has been developing a GIS-based tool to help councils efficiently and systematically review the selection of replacement luminaires for the LED rollout on main roads (see image below).

  1. NSW Public Lighting Code

The NSW Public Lighting Code was introduced 1 July 2019 following years of advocacy by SSROC for a defined service level.  The Code establishes minimum street lighting service levels for NSW utilities and compliance with it is now a mandatory licence condition for service providers in NSW. A second and more detailed review of the Code has commenced and is linked to the timing of the current AER pricing review (see 4 below).  SSROC, along with other council representatives, continually participates in Code review consultations.

  1. IPART Review of Annual Performance Reports & Licence Conditions

Ausgrid is required to provide IPART and councils with an annual street lighting performance report in August of each year. Ausgrid’s 2020-21 performance report highlighted a number of areas of where improvements were needed to achieve full compliance with the NSW Public Lighting Code.  SSROC continues to advocate for compliance with the Code to remain a mandatory licence condition and will update councils with any further developments on this matter.

  1. AER 2024-2029 Pricing Review

The first steps of the AER 2024-2029 pricing review for all three NSW electricity distributors have recently commenced. In total, the 29 councils in the SLI Program will spend more than $340m on street lighting services over the 5-year regulatory period, so this review is material and requires the close attention of councils. SSROC made a short submission to the first stage of this review on 30 November 2021 seeking continued regulatory oversight by the AER in the absence of a contestable alternative. The review will progressively build through 2022 and will be a major focus of SSROC SLI Program.

For more information on the SLI Program, please contact Program Manager, Graham Mawer on 0412 229 544 or gmawer@nextenergy.com.au

Publications

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Street Lighting Improvement Program

Street Lighting Improvement Program