City of Sydney’s smart power program paves way for sustainable urban environments

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The City of Sydney’s successful smart power usage program is setting an example for new applications of light to create sustainable and energy-efficient urban environments. The pan-city LED (light-emitting diode) lighting program seeks to significantly reduce carbon emissions and energy use.

Since March 2012, over half of the new LED lights have been commissioned as part of a $7 million, three-year project to replace 6450 street and park lights across the City of Sydney. The new lights have already saved the City almost $370,000 and reduced energy use more than 34 percent since March 2012, with the City’s roll out of more than 4100 energy efficient LED street and park lights.

The LED lights, produced by GE Lighting and installed by UGL, emit a light that is whiter and brighter than traditional street and park lights. LED lighting produces light over a broader range of the color spectrum, looking closer to daylight. They use 40 percent less electricity than conventional bulbs and produce 40 percent less carbon pollution. LEDs are made up of a series of points of light or diodes, which better directs the light and do not have a filament like traditional sources. This means they get less hot, use less energy and last up to three times longer, thereby saving on maintenance and replacement costs.

The City of Sydney’s LED project is the first of its kind in Australia. LED lights have been installed across major residential and commercial areas including Newton and new developments at Zetland. This revolution in lighting technology is sweeping across central Sydney to provide brighter park and street lighting while drastically reducing electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Following the successful implementation in City of Sydney, the New South Wales government is encouraging other councils across the state to consider implementing similar LED lighting projects.

Public lighting accounts for a third of the City’s annual electricity use and 30 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions. The new LEDs will reduce emissions by 2861 tonnes each year, the equivalent of taking 940 cars off the road. The City of Sydney, as Australia’s first carbon-neutral government, has set a target of reducing emissions by 70 percent below 2006 levels by 2030.

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