STREET lights will be cheaper to run and more environmentally friendly with a new $3 million regional program officially switched on this week in Warrnambool.
When complete, the Great South Coast Street Smart Lighting project is expected to save municipal councils almost $10m during the next 20 years as 7500 old-style fittings are replaced with efficient 80-watt mercury vapour and LED lights.
It is regarded as the largest local government sustainability project ever in the region.
Great South Coast Group chairman Cr Chris O’Connor said the changeover would effectively cut emissions by 294 tonnes of carbon a year and reduce street lighting costs by up to 60 per cent.
“It marks the first time councils across our region have come together to work on such a large-scale project,” he said.
“Individual councils would never have been able to achieve this on their own.
“It is an excellent investment for our councils and will quickly pay for itself.”
Great South Coast Group councils obtained $1.4m from the federal government and contributed the balance from their own funds.
The program will be rolled out in the next five years under a project officer hosted by Warrnambool City Council which will get 1430 new lamps producing an annual saving of $172,000.
Glenelg Shire will get 2200 lamps to save $89,000 a year, Colac Otway Shire 1320 lamps to save $78,000 a year, Southern Grampians Shire 1070 to save $72,000, Corangamite Shire 910 to save $72,000 and Moyne Shire 740 to save $52,500.