NZTA is fast-tracking its investment in LED street lighting. A rule change means existing road lights can now be replaced with more cost-effective and safer LED lighting immediately rather than at the end of their useful life.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced the move at the recent Strategic Lighting Partners’ Road Lighting 2015 conference in Auckland.
Expect to see programmes getting underway from July 1 this year under the next three-year National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).
NZTA is ready to receive applications to co-invest with local authorities and will be able to fund conversions to LED street lighting as ‘improvements’ rather than ‘renewals’.
Minister Bridges – whose portfolios also span energy and resources, and climate change – says that depending on the road controlling authorities (RCAs) themselves, it could mean the majority of New Zealand’s cities are upgraded to LED lighting within five years. All are likely to have been switched over within a decade.
LGNZ centre of excellence EquiP can help RCAs make their business case to access the local funding share.
The minister’s announcement was widely greeted at the conference as a significant step forward in improving New Zealand’s network of road lights.
Minister Bridges says LED lights will be the default option for any new roads being built. And the government’s Roads of National Significance and Accelerate Regional Roads upgrades will all be fitted with LED lighting where lighting is required.
Some 370,000 high-pressure sodium lights currently line New Zealand’s roads. A PwC report commissioned by EECA conservatively estimates switching to LED could save the country $10 million in operational costs each year.