Street Lights


Public lighting plays an important role in providing safe, secure and attractive public areas for both pedestrians and vehicles.

Public lighting has three main purposes - improved pedestrian and vehicle safety, reduced street crime, and providing night amenity in community spaces.

Essential Energy is responsible for the maintenance and billing of around 170,000 streetlights for 86 Councils across NSW and southern Queensland, from Bega Valley in the south to Tweed Heads in the north and Broken Hill in the west.

Who owns and manages the street lights?

Streetlights on local roads are generally owned and maintained by Essential Energy with local Council responsible for setting the appropriate lighting levels.

Environmental Initiatives 

LED Street light Upgrade Project

Work to upgrade 663 streetlights to energy efficient technology will begin in November as part of a major energy efficiency project that will save hundreds of thousands in electricity bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the ratepayers of Bellingen Shire Council.

Why replace the street lights with LED technology? 

The switch to LED technology will see a 130 MWh per year reduction in power use, delivering savings of approximately $46,000 each year in maintenance and electricity costs. Bellingen Shire Council is committed to becoming more sustainable, and the LED upgrade is just one initiative in Council’s strategies to achieve energy and operational efficiencies. Street lighting is a significant expense for Council, and with almost 700 streetlights across Council’s footprint, the upgrade will go a long way to reducing costs and providing significant long-term savings.

How does LED lighting compare to the old lighting?

LED lights require less maintenance and generate a consistent warm to white light. The white light generated from LEDs will vary from some of the pre-existing street lights, which can appear yellow (high pressure sodium) and amber (low pressure sodium). Although street lights may appear to be brighter (as the colour may be whiter) they will be more efficient in spreading light more evenly along and across footpaths and roads, and visibility along the street will be improved and look more natural.

The LED lights often provide less back spill into properties due to improved optics, with lighting more focussed on the road and footpath area. LEDs are far more energy efficient, require less maintenance and have a significantly longer life. LED streetlights consuming around 17 watts each will replace existing high-energy lights consuming between 50 and 100 watts. 

Public lighting plays an important role in providing safe, secure and attractive public areas for both pedestrians and motorists. The new LED street lighting for Bellingen Shire Council will not only provide a more reliable, better quality lighting service, but will deliver savings of more than 59 per cent in energy consumption. 

 This type of light also provides future potential for other ‘smart’ applications to be added and will allow Essential Energy to manage the streetlight network and respond more promptly to potential outages more effectively.


How can we help?

Request for a new streetlight

New streetlights are installed at the request of local councils and designs are approved by Essential Energy.

The design and installation work must be carried out by a suitably qualified Accredited Service Provider (ASP), and all relevant paperwork must be submitted to Essential Energy upon completion. If the council requires Essential Energy to maintain the lights following their installation, materials used in the design and construction must be selected from our Approved Material List.

If you would like to request a new street light be installed, please provide Council with as much detail as possible including the location and reasons for the request. 

Request a new streetlight

Request for a glare shield

As streetlights are an asset of Essential Energy, Council only serves to facilitate this process between Essential Energy and the customer.

Process for requesting a glare shield:

1.  A request for a glare shields is initiated by Council once the customer agrees to pay the Essential Energy installation fee ($605.13 excluding GST) and provides appropriate details for the request. 

2. Council will conduct a preliminary assessment on the suitability for the installation of a glare shield at this location, factoring in pedestrian and vehicle safety, opportunity for street crime, and the lights’ ability to provide night amenity in community spaces. If Council deems the installation of a Glare Shield at this location a suitable request we will communicate this advice to Essential Energy.

3. Essential Energy will then perform an independent assessment, and if in agreement with Council, will proceed to install the glare shield, and then an invoice for payment to the customer will be issued.

* Should Essential Energy deem a glare shield unsuitable at the location, this determination will be communicated between the parties, with written advice provided to you. No further action will be taken in relation to your request should this be the outcome. Unfortunately glare shields are not available for all streetlight types.

Request a glare shield

To initiate the process, please advise Council in writing the details of your request including the location of the streetlight and reasons for the request. Please also include your written agreement to pay the Essential Energy installation fee.

Request a glare shield