Footy training on a wintery Thursday evening takes commitment, and if you’re one of the 1.4 million people who play AFL across the country, then you know how tough those dark nights on the local oval can be.

In 2016, South Belgrave Football Club decided to do something about this by installing LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting at their club. They were one of the first ovals, out of nearly 3,000 in Australia, to opt for LED over traditional metal halogen lights and this has considerably enhanced the experience for players, staff and supporters alike.

Now the club is thriving with steady growth of both spectators and players benefiting from the improvement in lighting facilities for training and night games - Auskick, Under-11 Girls and the Senior Men’s teams have all played under the lights. According to the club, the feedback from players, umpires, officials and supporters about has been glowing, like those LEDs.

“The LED lights at our club are terrific,” said club president Tony Baker. “Being the first Community Sporting Club, possibly in the country, to have full LED ground lights is such a badge of pride for us. It’s also resulted in lots of enquiries from the Eastern Football League, as well as other clubs, leagues, and local councils around Victoria, even interstate.”

It’s not just local footy clubs making the switch to energy efficient lighting. There are a number of netball and NRL grounds throughout the country now replacing their old systems with LED. Perhaps the most high-profile example is the recently refurbished Optus Stadium in Perth, home to West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers, which installed 15,000 LED lights for state of the art performance lighting, the biggest of its kind anywhere in the world.

A recent meeting of the COAG Energy Council led to an agreement to improve lighting energy efficiency regulation by phasing out inefficient halogen light bulbs, which use up to four times as much energy as LED lights.

AEMO, as the electricity market operator, has seen the effect of increased home efficiency on overall grid demand for electricity. As outlined in the recently published Integrated System Plan, total electricity consumption across the National Electricity Market (NEM) is forecast to remain relatively flat over the next 20 years due to greater energy efficiency and growth in distributed generation such as household rooftop solar and battery storage, offsetting drivers for increases in consumption such as growth in population and the economy. 

In the meantime, South Belgrave Football Club is continuing to lead the way by illuminating the footy lives of their junior, senior and veteran players. Thursday night training has never looked so bright.

To learn more about energy efficiency, and the industry in general, visit our Energy Explained section.