Council Services / Community

Northern Lights - Energy Efficient Lighting

 These projects will transform Tasmania’s street lighting system, creating a smart community backbone for councils to leverage other smart applications across their operations.  These projects could lead to the replacement of over 60% of street lights in the State, making Tasmania’s LED deployment the largest in the country by percent.

Figure 1 Northern Lights
Figure 1: Pictured from left to right, with new energy efficient lights are Mayor Craig Perkings from Meander Valley Council, Councillor John McGiveron - Break O'Day Council, Mayor Albert van Zettern - City of Launceston, Mayor David Downie - Northern Midlands Council, Councillor Doug Burt - Georgetown, Councillor Tim Woinarski -West Tamar Council.


Figure 2 Northern Lights

Figure 2: For more information about Northern Lights, including data on progress of the role out visit

Installing energy efficient street lighting, such as LEDs, to replace outdated and inefficient technology is delivering financial and environmental rewards for Tasmanian councils.  For Local Government, street lighting is the single largest source of greenhouse emissions and a significant proportion of their overall budget.  LEDs use up to 82% less energy than the mercury vapour technology present in existing street lights, require significantly less maintenance, create safer roads and improve public amenity. 

The LED street lighting project is one of a number of collaborative council projects currently being delivered in Tasmania.  The City of Hobart and Glenorchy City Council led the way with the first LED replacement program for public lights in Tasmania.  This project replaced around 4,700 lights, saving the councils $300,000 a year in energy costs and about 350 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. 

In February 2017 the second major street lighting replacement program Northern Lights was launched.  This project sees six Northern  Tasmanian councils collaborating on the largest energy efficiency project of its kind in the State.  Northern Lights will involve the installation of 9,100 LED street lights, resulting in combined savings of more than $16 million over 20 years.  The participating councils are the City of Launceston, Meander Valley, George Town, Break O’Day, Northern Midlands and West Tamar.  This regional approach improves bargaining power with suppliers while also saving on project costs.  This project is an excellent example of councils working together to save ­­­money and energy.   

Due to the success of the first two projects, there is keen interest from other Tasmanian councils for LED replacement projects.  The Local Government Association of Tasmania is now working with councils in the north west and south to deliver similar projects.  The business cases that have just been completed for these two regions reveal convincing evidence to support similar replacement programs.  If supported, these projects will see an additional 17,000 existing lights replaced with LEDs, providing a net saving of over $20 million over 20 years.  This is great news given the likely increase in electricity prices over time.

By working together, these councils have delivered innovative projects that are of significant benefit to the communities they serve, each demonstrating how much can be achieved with a little collective effort.