Street Lighting Improvement Program

Street Lighting Improvement Program

SSROC established and oversees the award-winning Street Lighting Improvement (SLI) 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 $50m per year for street lighting services and energy. 

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, has acknowledged the efforts of the SSROC member councils, stating that Program for Energy and Environmental Risk Solutions (PEERS) and Street Lighting Improvement Program “strongly align with the Australian Government’s focus on reducing emissions and ensuring Australians have access to affordable and reliable energy.” 

The key areas of progress to date include: 

  • Saving councils more than $110m over four regulatory pricing reviews; 
  • Securing deployment of more than 205,000 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. 

Recognising the strong environmental gains made, the SSROC SLI Program won a 2023 LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Award.

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

  • Residential Road LED Accelerated Replacements – In 2018, Councils agreed on an accelerated replacement program of LED luminaires on residential roads to improve lighting, improve compliance and save energy. This program is the largest LED replacement program agreed to by any utility in Australia and is nearing completion. 
  • Main Road LED Accelerated Replacements – Councils’ next priority is the upgrade of legacy lighting on main roads to LEDs with smart controls and the ability to accommodate future smart city sensors. This program was agreed to in 2022 and commenced in mid-2023. It incorporates some remaining non-LEDs on residential roads. This 3-year program is expected to take total LED deployments to more than 90% of all Ausgrid lighting by 2025-26. The approach being taken will be one of the most advanced lighting deployments of its type in the world.
  • Smart Controls Adoption & Links to Smart City Technology – As part of the main road LED upgrade, Councils in the SLI Program are working jointly with Ausgrid to deploy 62,000+ smart street lighting controls and explore the case for even wider deployment. The new street lights will also have Zhaga Book 18 interfaces on the underside so that smart city sensors that can be integrated with street lighting, reducing the need for additional poles and power supplies. 
  • Public Lighting Code Compliance – The Code is the only mechanism that NSW Councils can use to require Distributed Network Service Providers (DNSP) to provide good public lighting. SLI Program participants want to ensure that Ausgrid remains in full compliance with the Code and secure NSW Government support for improvements to it and to Ausgrid’s associated Public Lighting Management Plan.  
  • Pricing and Pricing Oversight – Oversight of street lighting pricing sits with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). The SLI Program engages with Ausgrid and the AER to ensure that Councils’ interests are properly considered as the pricing regime evolves and that they can make well informed representations to the AER in pricing decisions.      
  • Increased Engagement with Ausgrid – The SLI team is working to increase Council engagement with the Ausgrid management team across the full range of street lighting and other issues on which the organisations need to work together. 

For more information on the SLI Program, please contact Program Managers, Graham Mawer on 0412 229 544 or or Paul Gowans on 0448 404 749 or