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Seven Northern Inland Councils to share $576,000 to upgrade street lights

Ratepayers in Walcha, Armidale Dumaresq, Guyra, Inverell, Glen Innes Severn, Gwydir and Tenterfield Shires will save over $150,000 in annual electricity costs after a successful application to the Australian Government’s Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) for an energy efficient street lighting project. The project was instigated by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) and seven Northern Inland local councils.

Executive Officer for RDANI, Nathan Axelsson said that the seven councils will receive $576,000 in Australian Government funding to upgrade their street lighting to energy efficient compact-fluorescent lights under the ‘Northern Lights-Enlightening the Community’ project. “Regional Development Australia Northern Inland was pleased to assist the councils by applying for the funds and will lead the project during its rollout.

“The reduction in power consumption of at least 930MWh per year represents a saving of over $150,000 per year in electricity and operating costs as well as nearly 1000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions,” Mr Axelsson said.

The Australian Government’s Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) funds will be used to upgrade nearly 5000 street lights in the seven council areas. The entire project is valued at nearly $1 million with the local councils and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage contributing the remaining funds.

In addition, an Energy Efficiency Education Officer will be engaged for two years to assist councils and communities to improve energy efficiency and save on energy costs. The officer will particularly focus on cost-saving opportunities for local residents.

“On average, residents, businesses and organisations in the Northern Inland pay around 20 per cent more for electricity than the equivalent home or business in Sydney.  Anything smart we can do to reduce the cost of power for our communities is to be applauded and hopefully councils can redirect some of their savings through the CEEP Program back into the community”, said Mr Axelsson.

Installation of the new compact fluorescent bulbs will be conducted in conjunction with Essential Energy and is expected to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months.

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