The Australian Energy Regulator today released a final decision which provides greater certainty to local councils in Victoria on the costs of operating new more energy efficient public street lighting.
Local councils are seeking ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and looking to use more energy efficient street lighting. Some councils were concerned they would face excessive costs under the distributors' proposed charges, which they had attempted to negotiate with distributors since 2006.
"In the final decision on new energy efficient lighting charges, the AER has requested distributors resubmit lower charges for approval by 3 April 2009. The AER's approved charges are about 20 per cent on average below those submitted by the distributors," AER Chairman, Mr Steve Edwell, said today.
"The AER's final decision will ensure that councils are charged a fair and reasonable price by the distributors for the operation and maintenance of energy efficient public street lighting."
The final decision will assist councils in deciding if it is economic for them to remove from service the existing MV80 street lights ahead of schedule, and replace them with the new environmentally friendly T5 street lighting technology.
The AER's decision follows an earlier draft decision by the Essential Services Commission of Victoria (ESCV) on this matter in November 2008. From 1 January 2009, the ESCV's responsibilities for the economic regulation of electricity distribution network businesses in Victoria were transferred to the AER.