Light upgrade to cost $248,000

TWEED Shire councillors have given the green light to plans by electricity provider Country Energy to upgrade Tweed's street lights with energy efficient lamps, at a cost of $248,000 to ratepayers.

The move would save $273,000 a year in power costs but Greens Party councillor Katie Milne asked why solar lighting could not be used.

“I just wonder why we aren't moving straight into solar. This seems an interim sort of measure,” she said at this week's council meeting.

Acting general manager Patrick Knight said the lights were the responsibility of Country Energy which was doing routine lamp replacement and had offered to replace the old ones with energy efficient lamps.

“If council doesn't come on board they will just change the energy-inefficient lamps with energy-inefficient lamps that are just newer,” he said.

The council was told the upfront cost of the change would be $248,484, “with an estimated payback on energy and maintenance savings of $273,913 per annum”.

“There are also reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 1014 tonnes per annum,” staff said in a report.

The report said Country Energy had proposed to upgrade all non-energy efficient street lighting in the shire.

It revealed the council was responsible for 5671 streetlights.

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