Thousands of street lights across Bathurst are expected to receive energy-efficient upgrades in the coming weeks as part of a major project to drive down emissions and reduce electricity costs.
The work will see more than 5600 street lights across the Bathurst region received light-emitting diode [LED] bulbs in a move expected to save Bathurst Regional Council more than $550,000 a year in maintenance and electricity costs.
In addition, the switch will see a reduction of 1900 megawatt hours [MWh] per year in street light power usage.
Bathurst mayor Bobby Bourke said the project is part of council's push to adopt modern, efficient technologies.
"The transition to LED lights is long overdue here in Bathurst, and council has invested $2.17 million to ensure this project's completion," Cr Bourke said.
"We expect the costs to be recouped within four years."
The switch to LED technology comes after council narrowly agreed [at a vote of five to four] to acknowledge councillor Monica Morse's notice of motion that the region is facing changes to its weather and climate during last week's ordinary meeting.
However, Cr Bourke [who voted against the notice of motion] said the project had been in the works prior to last week's meeting.
"Council always aims to progress with initiatives that will provide savings for ratepayers and more reliable technologies suitable for a growing city," he said.
"Streetlighting is a significant expense for council, costing around $1.2 million in the last financial year, and we want to promote Bathurst as a smarter and greener city wherever possible."
Essential Energy streetlight manager Waide Elliott said the project will take around four to six months to complete and is part of a statewide move towards LED technology in street lights.
"Compared to the old technology, these LED lights will deliver savings of more than 60 per cent in energy consumption," Mr Elliott said.
"To date, we've converted eight local government areas [LGA's] across the state to LED street light technology, and Bathurst is one of the first areas in the Central West to receive these upgrades."
The initiative is part of the wider Southern Lights NSW infrastructure project, which will see over 75,000 LED street lights deployed to 41 LGA's across the south of the state, from Bega to Broken Hill.
"These LED lights will translate into positive financial and environmental savings," Mr Elliott said.
"We want to do whatever we can to reduce energy consumption and harmful impacts on the environment."
The project launched yesterday with Wellesley Court in Raglan.