The NSW Government has recently completed a major review of the NSW Public Lighting Code with a new Code to take effect from 1 July 2023 and some further changes to be introduced from 1 July 2024. The Code review, led by NSW Treasury, involved representatives of the three NSW electricity distributors, councils and Transport for NSW.
Like most States, the majority of public lighting in NSW is owned by the electricity distributors. In NSW these are Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy. The Code establishes minimum street lighting service levels for the three NSW electricity distributors.
The NSW distributors collectively own and manage more than 600,000 street lights on behalf of 128 councils as well as for Transport for NSW. These customers pay more than $100m per year for street lighting services. Compliance with the Code is a mandatory licence condition for the utilities and is overseen by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.
Key changes to the Code include:
- recurrent penalties for long-duration faults
- new requirements setting maximum repair times for more complex faults
- substantially more comprehensive quarterly and annual reporting
- new rights for customers to access the data from smart street lighting controls systems
- new rights for customers to determine what sensors are installed in or on street lights that they pay for
IPWEA welcomes the Code’s increased attention to service levels and the recognition of the important role that smart street lighting controls, smart city sensors and other emerging technology will play in the future.