Cr Bill McArthur, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) said that committing to a sustainable future had become core business, with over 80 per cent of councils making the transition to green lighting as a way to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“These pioneering energy saving projects will result in combined financial savings of up to $340 million over time - a massive windfall for councils and ratepayers.
“Forty-eight Victorian councils have sourced funding through the federal Community Energy Efficiency Program to transition to energy efficient street lighting.
“We understand that all Victorian councils that were successful in their funding requests have signed agreements with the Australian Government.
“However, we call on the new Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt, to provide assurances to councils that these contracts will be honoured. Energy efficient street lighting provides real savings and aligns with the Government’s ‘Direct Action’ approach.
“The election of a new Australian Government brings new opportunities and different thinking to reducing carbon emissions. We look forward to working with the new Government to find effective ways to tap into the local government sector’s drive and initiative in reducing energy use and carbon emissions,” he said.
Cr McArthur said councils had been purchasing thousands of approved energy efficient street lights through the MAV Procurement panel, following a competitive tender process conducted on behalf of 45 councils.
“With each light that is changed, nearly 70 per cent of the old lamp’s energy is saved.
“Based on current and funded projects, over 183 000 inefficient 80 watt mercury vapour lights will be replaced over four years, saving 1.21 million tonnes of greenhouse gas over the life of the new lights.
“This is equivalent to taking 270 198 Australian cars off the road for a year, or lighting 1 549 137 average Australian homes for a year – an extraordinary feat.”