Street light faults adding to growing council bill

AN ELECTRICITY network operator has reminded residents to report faults as street lights in South Dubbo needlessly added to the city's growing bill.

Essential Energy anticipated it would be able to fix the problem in Taylor Street sometime this week.

On-call staff had identified on Thursday night that a number of streetlights in the street were operating continuously because of a problem with a control unit, Essential Energy regional general manager Matt Patterson said.

"Crews are waiting on replacement parts for the unit and expect to rectify the problem next week," he said.

On Friday the Daily Liberal had been informed of the South Dubbo fault by a member of the community after it was revealed Dubbo City Council had budgeted an extra $210,000 to cover street lighting costs in 2012/2013.

Sanderson Street resident Peter Kelly said the lights in Taylor Street between Tamworth Street and Boundary Road had been on most days of last week.

Essential Energy, which has responsibility for building, operating and maintaining the network but not for selling electricity, had been active in performing its role but appealed for a helping hand from the community.

"Specialist staff have repaired several streetlights across the city this week as part of the company's ongoing public lighting maintenance program," Mr Patterson said on Friday.

"With a focus on delivering a sustainable and cost-effective electricity network, Essential Energy reminds residents to contact 13 20 80 to report streetlight faults or visit our website at www.essentialenergy.com.au."

The council incurred a cost of $590,000 for street lighting in the previous financial year.

It budgeted for a 36 per cent increase in 2012/2013 and so far the estimate was "tracking with expenditure", it reported this week.

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