In an Australian first, Sydney has begun installing the first batch of energy-efficient LED street and park lights.


As part of a $7 million three year project, the joint venture of GE and UGL Limited (UGL), selected by tender, has installed new LED lights on George Street, in front of Sydney Town Hall.


Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the rollout of LED lights, following a successful 18 month trial in Alexandria Park, Kings Cross, Martin Place and Circular Quay, would reduce emissions and halve the energy use.

"Replacing 6,450 conventional lights will save nearly $800,000 a year in electricity bills and maintenance costs," the Lord Mayor said.


"Sydney will be the first city in Australia to install the new LED street and park lights across its entire city centre, and joins other major cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Los Angeles and San Francisco."


In a public survey conducted by the City after the 18 month trial, more than 90 per cent of people reported finding the new lighting appealing, and three-quarters said it actually improved visibility.


The City of Sydney is one of the largest users of street lighting in NSW with 22,000 lights - 13,500 maintained by Ausgrid (formerly Energy Australia) and 8,500 by the City.


Public lighting accounts for a third of the City of Sydney's annual electricity use and 30 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions. The new LED lights will slash these emissions, which is equivalent to 2,861 tonnes or taking 940 cars off the road.


Managing Director of GE Lighting Australia and New Zealand, Nathan Dunn, said: "LED technology will transform lighting as we know it - saving up to 75 per cent of energy compared to incandescent light sources, while lasting up to 25 times longer. This will have a profound impact on how we think about lighting in the future."


UGL's managing director and CEO, Richard Leupen, said: "Partnering with the first city in Australia to introduce energy efficient lighting is an important milestone as our country transitions to a lower carbon future."