The issue

Councils are significant providers of community energy infrastructure through the provision of public lighting and major users of energy for community facilities such as aquatic and recreation centres. This means energy is a significant cost for most council’s annual budget.

The energy sector in Australia continues to go through significant national reform. Tasmania also has a system unique to other states, with a single state-owned generation company (Hydro Tasmania), a state-owned network and distribution company (TasNetworks) and only a handful of energy retailers, with the major customer retailer also state-owned (Aurora Energy).

At the same time, Local Government in Australia is increasingly under pressure to innovate to find costs efficiencies and to reduce carbon  emissions.

Supporting councils in this portfolio has been a priority for LGAT. We have strongly advocated on behalf of the sector to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and have provided significant support to councils in achieving cost savings from both energy efficient street lighting projects and energy procurement

Did you know?

Energy Efficient Street Lighting

Council energy efficient street light replacement projects have saved an estimated 800 tonnes equivalent of CO2 per year – equal to taking 7000 cars of the road over 20 years.

Member Savings

LGAT has helped Tasmanian councils save more than $1.8 million over the last two years due to shared energy procurement. The cost of energy for public lighting, and community facilities such as pools and recreation centres is significant for councils.

Councils Use Renewable Energy

Many councils use renewable energy sources eg the Doone Kennedy Hobart Aquatic Centre has over 1500 solar panels saving over $130,000 or 12.5% of energy costs each year.

How LGAT is advocating for our Members

In 2018- 2019, as part of the Australian Energy Regulator Pricing reset for TasNetworks, LGAT saved councils a total of $7.1 million over 5 years on public lighting.

LGAT has worked with Tasmanian councils on a major street lighting infrastructure upgrade project to replace outdated and inefficient street lighting to modern LEDs. The benefits to councils and the community have been considerable. Compared to the previous mercury vapour technology, LED lighting systems consume around 82% less energy, require less maintenance, and through their increase to light output - make roads safer and improve public amenity.

Next steps

LGAT will continue to work with councils on ways to reduce their energy costs and emissions and how we can now leverage the opportunities that smart lighting provides.  In addition, LGAT will be working with the energy sector on ensuring greater transparency around cost, improved timeliness of advice and communication.