Wednesday, 06th December 2017

The Real Savings of Choosing LED for Street Lighting

Gerard Lighting
Marketing Team
Gerard Lighting

Councils, main road authorities and electricity distributors have been embracing accelerated LED replacement programs as a means of adopting energy efficient lighting schemes and driving down carbon emissions. With a population of more than 2.3 million streetlights, the majority of which continue to use HID and other legacy technologies, there are still many opportunities for asset owners to implement LED as a cost reduction strategy and to consider further augmentation of those LED assets with accompanying smart lighting controls.

With real world performance data now being made available, it is confidently predicted that the estimated capital cost of Australia’s current accelerated LED replacement programs is $1.1 billion. Energy Savings (based on typical costs of all charges proportional to energy consumption calculated at $0.15c/kWh) are estimated at $180 million per year. Estimated savings in the area of Service/Maintenance costs (based on a 50% reduction in current spot and bulk maintenance costs) is $60 million per year. Combined, this provides a total estimated saving in energy and maintenance of $240 million per year.

The payback period for this level of investment is estimated at 4-5 years with a net present value of $1.6 billion (at a 4% discount rate over 15 years including initial capital cost and savings).

The other big savings to be made are in terms of carbon emissions.

Carbon emissions, given the current mix of light source technologies in use in street lighting, are 1 252 500 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (tCO2e/yr). On a basis equivalent to that of the potential energy savings, there is a projected 52% savings in carbon emissions of 654 000 tCO2e/yr in the event of a national deployment of LEDs for street lighting. These savings would increase to 60-70% were the LEDs accompanied by smart controls to deliver trimming, CLO (constant light output) and dimming when/where appropriate. Without smart controls, carbon emissions savings average out at 281 kgs CO2e/yr per lighting point but these savings increase substantially to as much as 350 kg CO2e/yr per lighting point.     

Data based on:
"IPWEA Street Lighting and Smart Controls Programme Roadmap" -