Public lighting plays an important role in providing safe, secure and attractive public areas for both pedestrians and vehicles. It also represents between 25 and 70 per cent of any individual local government’s corporate energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Public lighting has three main purposes - improved pedestrian and vehicle safety, reduced street crime, and providing night amenity in community spaces.
Essential Energy is responsible for the maintenance and billing of around 170,000 streetlights for 86 Councils across NSW and southern Queensland, from Bega Valley in the south to Tweed Heads in the north and Broken Hill in the west.
Customers who would like a new streetlight installed should contact their local council in the first instance, who will consider the request and if approved, will work with us to improve lighting.
Streetlighting technology has advanced significantly in recent years, with a key advancement being the introduction of energy efficient and cost-effective LED streetlighting. LED lighting has become the dominant technology for most new streetlighting upgrades around the world, and large-scale replacement programs are now underway across much of New South Wales (NSW).
Switching to LED technology reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and the lights have a longer life span, which reduces the burden of maintenance programs for local Councils, freeing up resources, which can then be used to benefit the community in other ways.
We are working closely with Councils across our footprint, and have started the transformation of streetlighting, with almost 60% of lights already converted to LED, with a target of 95% of lights to be LED by 2024.
Essential Energy is investigating new technologies including smart controllers, which manage light levels and support faster identification and fixing of faults, and also have a range of other future potential applications for our communities.
Essential Energy is a signatory of FluoroCycle. FluoroCycle is a voluntary product stewardship scheme that seeks to increase the national recycling rate of waste mercury containing lamps.
New streetlights are installed at the request of local councils and designs are approved by Essential Energy. The design and installation work must be carried out by a suitably qualified Accredited Service Provider (ASP), and all relevant paperwork must be submitted to Essential Energy upon completion. If the council requires Essential Energy to maintain the lights following their installation, materials used in the design and construction must be selected from our Approved Material List.
Glare shields and vandal guards
Requests for glare shields and vandal guards from members of the public should be submitted to your local council. Council will consider the request and contact us if necessary. Unfortunately glare shields are not available for all streetlight types.
Public Lighting Code
The NSW Public Lighting Code was first published in January 2006, and is updated to support service standards and align the code with National Electricity Law and ongoing changes in the role of distribution networks. The NSW Public Lighting Code has become a mandatory condition of Essential Energy’s Distributor Licence. The Code provides a framework for Essential Energy’s public lighting services, and creates an expectation for a higher level of service to these customers for installation and repair of public lighting.