Wednesday, February 17, 2010

strike out street lights

report from the roundtable – feb 9

At the last council meeting I raised Maribyrnong City Council’s advocacy campaign around street lighting.

Maribyrnong are seeking support from local government for a statewide advocacy campaign to compel the state and federal government to take strong action to enable the upgrade to energy efficient streetlights. Changing the street lighting to more energy efficient lighting would save over 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in Victoria alone.

It is a campaign well worth supporting. Local government has to bear a huge financial burden to change over street lighting however the benefits of doing so are immense because of the massive reduction in CO2 emissions and the ongoing savings in energy consumption and future energy costs.

The campaign will focus on raising community awareness of the issue and then target the State Government, the Australian Energy Regulator and key policy and decision makers to advocate for a state government contribution of $150 towards each street light changeover.

Yarra Ranges has 7,295 street lights and they contribute the highest amount of corporate greenhouse gas emissions for the Shire of Yarra Ranges (seconded by our aquatics facilities). We have currently budgeted $1.8 million towards the bulk change over of all street lights in 2010/11 as part of our Carbon Management Strategy.

Street lights contribute significantly to emissions of local government but many councils do not have the capacity to change to the more energy efficient lighting. A financial contribution from state government would ease the burden on local government and allow considerable inroads into reducing the state’s carbon emissions, there is no doubt this contribution is well overdue.


That Council:

Work in partnership with Maribyrnong City Council, the Municipal Association of Victoria and other interested Victorian councils to develop a street light advocacy and community awareness campaign targeting the State Government, private electrical companies and other key decision makers in order to facilitate:

1. State Government contribution of a minimum of $150 (either through direct funding or
market-based equivalent such as Victorian Energy Efficiency Target) per energy efficient street light changeover for every Victorian Council.

2. Changes being made to the ‘National Electricity Law’ regulations that would require electrical distributors to continually improve the efficiency of street light systems as new technology becomes available.

3. The banning of inefficient (80 watt MV) street lights within Australia by the end of 2010 in line with the COAG National Strategy on Energy Efficiency.

The motion was supported by councillors unanimously.

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