Lights on and ready for historic LED rollout

Sydney has become the first city in Australia to roll-out new energy-efficient LED street and park lights.

A joint venture of GE and UGL Limited (UGL), selected by tender, has begun installing the first batch of new LED lights on George Street, in front of Sydney Town Hall as part of a $7 million three year project.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the rollout of LED lights, following a successful 18 month trial in Alexandria Park, Kings Cross, Martin Place and Circular Quay, would reduce emissions and halve the energy use.

“Replacing 6,450 conventional lights will save nearly $800,000 a year in electricity bills and maintenance costs,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Sydney will be the first city in Australia to install the new LED street and park lights across its entire city centre, and joins other major cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

In a public survey conducted by the City after the 18 month trial, more than 90 per cent of people reported finding the new lighting appealing, and three-quarters said it actually improved visibility.

The City of Sydney is one of the largest users of street lighting in NSW with 22,000 lights – 13,500 maintained by Ausgrid (formerly Energy Australia) and 8,500 by the City.

Public lighting accounts for a third of the City of Sydney’s annual electricity use and 30 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions. The new LED lights will slash these emissions, which is equivalent to 2,861 tonnes or taking 940 cars off the road.

LED lights are made of a material, called a semi-conductor which emits light when an electric current passes through it. They don’t have a filament, like traditional light bulbs, and so do not get hot, require far less electricity and last much longer. They are now found in almost every electronic device including MP3 players, DVD players and TVs.

The City of Sydney was the first carbon neutral Australian government, and has set itself one of the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets: 70 per cent by 2030.

Managing Director of GE Lighting Australia and New Zealand, Nathan Dunn, said: “LED technology will transform lighting as we know it – saving up to 75 per cent of energy compared to incandescent light sources, while lasting up to 25 times longer. This will have a profound impact on how we think about lighting in the future.”

UGL’s managing director and CEO, Richard Leupen, said: “Partnering with the first city in Australia to introduce energy efficient lighting is an important milestone as our country transitions to a lower carbon future.”

The City also participated in an international trial of LED lighting with London, New York and Hong Kong, organised by the Climate Group, an international environment organisation.

The Climate Group’s Australian director, Caroline Bayliss, said: “This historic decision represents the arrival of LED technology in Australia. Sydney’s leadership provides a clear signal to other Australian councils: LED technology is ready.”

Media Contacts

City of Sydney media contact: Jon Walter 02 9265 9753 or 0406 868 359

Lord Mayor contact: Matt Levinson 0427 044 768

GE and UGL contacts: Joanne Woo (GE) 03 8807 6223, Rebecca Hill (UGL) 02 94921431