A CHANGE of lightbulbs is expected to save Warrnambool City Council more than $100,000 a year.
The council has received a loan from energy efficiency organisation Low Carbon Australia and the federal government to assist in the cost of replacing about 2200 streetlight globes with more efficient bulbs over the next couple of years.
Street lighting in Warrnambool is owned and run by Powercor, but the council pays for maintenance and running costs.
Mayor Michael Neoh said switching from the old mercury street lights to the new energy efficient globes would have significant savings and cut carbon emissions.
“By working with Powercor on this upgrade we’re expecting to realise annual savings of over $100,000 at current prices with the new globes expected to reduce energy usage by up to 68 per cent,” he said.
Half of the cost of the operation will be paid via the loan from Low Carbon Australia, which was set up by the federal government in 2010 to assist in delivering programs aiming to lower carbon emissions.
The rest of the money will come from the government’s Community Energy Efficiency Program, which is also providing funds to Colac Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, South Grampians and Glenelg shire councils.
Low Carbon Aus-tralia’s chief executive Meg McDonald said Warrnambool’s ratepayers would benefit from day one, as the cost savings of the streetlight project were greater than the loan repayments.
“Street lighting is the single largest source of energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions from the local government sector and it typically accounts for 30 to 60 per cent of emissions,” Ms McDonald said.