Streetlight at dusk


Public streetlighting 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.

Essential Energy is responsible for the maintenance and billing of around 160,000 streetlights for 85 Councils across NSW and southern Queensland, from Bega Valley in the south to Tweed Heads in the north and Broken Hill in the west.

Streetlighting has three main purposes - improved pedestrian and vehicle safety, reduced street crime, and providing night amenity in community spaces.

Environmental initiatives

LED technology

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.

Essential Energy is working closely with Councils across its footprint, and has started the transformation of streetlighting, with almost 20% of lights already converted to LED. Essential Energy is working with councils, with a target of 90% of lights to be LED by 2024.

Smart controllers

Essential Energy is investigating new technologies including smart controllers, which manage light levels and support faster identification and fixing of faults. They also have a range of other future potential applications for our communities.

Lamp recycling

Essential Energy is putting in place arrangements to ensure all lamps are recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.

New streetlights

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.