Lighting the Regions News & FAQs

Work has begun on stage two of Lighting the Regions, a project to replace street lights with energy efficient LEDs.

The majority of the street lights being replaced are along the highways in Avoca and Beaufort, so there may be some temporary parking impacts on the main streets of Avoca and Beaufort. All the lights on residential streets were replaced in 2015 during stage one of Lighting the Regions, so there should be little impact on most residents. 

What is the Lighting the Regions?
Lighting the Regions is a cooperative street lighting replacement project that will save ratepayers money and reduce energy use by installing approximately 11,000 high-performance and energy-efficient LED street lights across eleven councils in the region.

The first stage of Lighting the Region took place in 2015, with 277 residential street lights replaced in the Pyrenees Shire.

What are the benefits of replacing lights?
The new LED lights perform better, last longer and are between 32% and 82% more efficient than the existing lights (depending on their wattage).

Lighting the Regions is expected to drastically reduce street lighting energy use and costs – with approximately $19 million energy and capital costs to be saved by the partner councils over the lifetime of the assets (over 20 years). The project will reduce street lighting greenhouse gas emissions by around 64,283 tonnes. This is equivalent to removing 14,950 cars from the road for one year!

Pyrenees Shire Council CEO, Jim Nolan, said that approximately 109 street lights will be replaced with energy efficient alternatives in the Shire, with most of the lights being on major roads in Avoca and Beaufort.

“We’re very proud of this project. It will save approximately 410 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions during the life of the new assets (over 20 years), which is equivalent to taking 95 cars off the road for one-year.” Mr Nolan said.

“Not only will we be helping to lower our greenhouse gas emissions, but we will also be making significant savings on our energy bills, which means that we can use that money elsewhere,” Mr Nolan said.

The project is expected to be cash flow positive in around eight year. Every year in the Pyrenees it will save approximately 21 tonnes of greenhouse emissions, which is the equivalent of lighting 26 average homes per year.

The new lights also have other benefits, including: less depreciation of the light output over time, greater uniformity of light across and along the street, better colour rendering and visibility, lower glare, greater reliability and lower maintenance costs.

Who else has been involved in the project?
The project the initiative of the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and includes the following councils: Ballarat City Council, Buloke Shire Council, City of Greater Bendigo, Hepburn Shire Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Mildura Rural City Council, Mount Alexander Shire, Pyrenees Shire Council and Southern Grampians Shire Council. 



When will the works be taking place?
Works have commenced and will be completed concurrently across multiple municipalities up until the end of 2021.

For a project of this size, specific works schedules are developed on a week-by-week basis. Weather and other contributing factors can result in delays.

How will the works affect my street?
The changeover of a street light involves a single elevated work platform with two to three crew members. It takes less than 10 minutes to replace a street light, so any disruptions to traffic flow in your street should not last long. All cars can remain parked on the street. In the Pyrenees Shire most of the lights that need to be replaced will be on the mains streets of Avoca and Beaufort, so there may be some temporary disruptions to parking.

Why did the councils choose these particular lights?
The LED lights have been selected by the councils based on energy efficiency, cost efficiency and suitability from the selection of products approved for use by Powercor, which is the distribution company that owns the lighting infrastructure across the region.

The lights have been tested to ensure they meet relevant Australian Standards in regards to safety and light levels. These lights are already operating across a number of councils in Victoria.

The new lights have:

• Greater uniformity of light across and along the street;

• Better colour rendering and visibility;

• Less depreciation of light output over time;

• Less glare; and

• Lower maintenance costs.

Who is installing the new lights?
The following contractors will install the new LEDs and are being managed by Powercor with oversight from Ironbark Sustainability. They will liase with the councils throughout the project:

• Central Power – Buloke, Gannawarra, Hepburn, Mount Alexander, Pyrenees and Southern Grampians

• Lendlease – Ballarat

• Omexom – Bendigo, Mildura and Swan Hill

Who makes the lights?
The lights are made by Sylvania-Schréder Lighting and are assembled in Australia.

How long do the lights last?
The luminaire (the main body of the light including the LED light source) will last about 20 years, as will the LED chips.

Who actually owns the lights?
The lights are owned and maintained by the local energy distribution business Powercor.

Are the old lights recycled?
Yes. The recycling of old lights taken down during the project is the responsibility of the installer. The tender for replacement of lights specifies waste disposal requirements, which include the recycling of around 98% of the old lights. For example, the glass collected is recycled into products such as glass wool insulation for homes. The mercury is distilled and reused in the dental industry to manufacture amalgam. The aluminium body and other fixed components (for example, steel screws and copper wires) are collected and end up as ingots used in the industry.

Who do I call if I have any questions about the works?
Please call Council offices if you have any more queries on 1300 PYRENEES (1300 797 363).