your questions answered illuminating facts

• $4.7 million project
• 8,000 old street lights being replaced
• New T5 fluorescent lights
Why are streetlights important?
Streetlights are important for pedestrian, vehicle
and general public safety. They make it easier for
people to drive or walk along streets.
Why is Council replacing street lights?
While streetlights are important, they are costly
to run and account for about 30% of Council’s
greenhouse gas emissions. We are replacing
Banyule’s streetlights so that we can light our
streets in a more cost effective and energy
efficient way.
Which streetlights are being replaced?
We are replacing about 8,000 old streetlights, the
majority 80 watt mercury vapours, in residential
streets across Banyule. Banyule has about 3,500
other light types, including high pressure sodium
lights, which are not being replaced. These are
mostly on main roads where responsibility for
funding the lights is shared between Council and
VicRoads. A different standard of lighting is used
for main roads where energy efficient alternatives
are not yet feasible.
How much energy and money will be saved
by installing the new lights?
The new streetlights, mostly Twin 14 watt T5
fluorescent (T5) lights, use 67% less electricity than
the old 80 watt mercury vapour (MV) streetlights
but provide the same level of lighting. The new lights
are cheaper to maintain and will bring an annual
electricity and maintenance bill saving of almost
$350,000, a figure that will increase as the electricity
price rises into the future.
• Use 67% less electricity
• Cheaper to maintain
• Installation across Banyule from
November 2014 to May 2015
What is the cost of replacing street lights?
The cost of this project is approximately $4.7
million. We have kept costs down by buying the
lights in partnership with other Victorian Councils
and the Municipal Association of Victoria and have
received discounts because of the number of
lights we are buying. Overall, the project will save
Council $350,000 per year, a saving which is likely to
increase as the cost of electricity increases. When
these savings are taken into account, we will have
recouped our $4.7 million investment within
10 years.
When will new street lights be installed?
We are installing the new streetlights progressively
across Banyule from November 2014 to May 2015.
When will they be installed in my street?
Because this is a very large project, specific work
schedules are developed on a week by week basis.
Weather and other factors can also affect when and
where the new lights are installed.
Will the change-over of the lights affect
access or power to my house or street?
There will be very little impact because, just like at
home, changing over the light is a quick and easy
procedure. Workers use a ‘cherry picker’ to change
the lights, a process that takes 10-15 minutes.
Any disruptions to traffic flow will be minimal
and cars can remain parked on the street. When
changing the lights over, the contractors turn power
off to the pole so there is no impact on power to
homes or businesses.
Who owns the streetlights?
While the electricity distributors Jemena and Ausnet
own the streetlights in Banyule, Council pays for
their maintenance and the electricity they use.
Are the old lights recycled?
Yes, most of the old light fittings will be recycled.
Why didn’t you use light emitting diodes
We seriously considered LEDs but there were
barriers to their use. For example, when the project
was started, LEDs had not been approved for use
by Jemena, one of the electricity distributors that
owns and operates streetlights in Banyule. Also,
LEDs are significantly more expensive to buy than
T5s.While LEDs bring slightly better electricity
and maintenance savings, the T5s will still result in
significant savings as they use 67% less electricity
than the old MVs. Taking into consideration all
factors, the T5s are estimated to give a slightly
better return on investment. In Victoria, 30 Councils
have completed or are planning to replace their
streetlights, with 22 Councils using T5s, two using
LEDs and the remaining unconfirmed.
The first new street light installed was in Plenty
River Drive, Greensborough, in November 2014.
Will I notice much difference with the new
The new T5 luminaires have a different shape to
the old MVs. A new T5 and a well maintained MV
produce about the same light. However, an MV
dims over time so if a globe is at the end of its
four-year lifecycle a new T5 does appear brighter.
While the T5 will dim over time, it does not do
so as much as the MV. The MV and T5 also spread
light differently. Generally, the new T5s illuminate
the street and footpath better than the old MVs, so
there may be instances where the T5s spill more
light into private property than the old street lights.
What can I do if there is too much light
coming into my home?
The best way to reduce light coming into your
home is to install window coverings, such as blinds
or curtains to stop the light entering. Window
coverings also increase privacy and help insulate
your home, reducing energy bills.
More questions?
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Contact our Customer Service team:
• 9490 4222
• [email protected]