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LED street lights to save Essex £24m

A street light.

A street light.

Archant

Around 19,000 street lights in Essex are to have LED bulbs fitted in a bid to save £24million.

Essex County Council is proposing to fit the more energy efficient lights into all of the lanterns which are kept on through-out the night.

The programme would cost up to £9.222m, of which £4.35m will be provided in a zero-interest loan by a government-backed organisation part-funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

As well as saving around £1m a year in energy costs the LED lights will save £112,000 annually in maintenance as they are more efficient, and a further £91,000 in carbon tax – a reduction of 60% on its annual tax bill for street lights.

Lights set to be replaced in the two-year project are mainly in town centres, areas covered by CCTV or dangerous road junctions – those which are exempt from the part-night lighting policy, under which the majority of street lights are switched off between 1am and 5am each night.

Opponents to the introduction of the part-night lighting scheme often requested LED lights be fitted as an alternative way to save money and reduce carbon emissions, and it was in response to those calls that a trial was implemented by the county council.

The 19,000 lamps earmarked for the scheme equate to around 14% of the total number of street light in Essex, but are those used the most.

Rodney Bass, county councillor for infrastructure, said: “The council has undertaken a pilot to evaluate the use of LED technology as a replacement for the existing lanterns to monitor the energy savings predicted. The pilot sought to establish whether it is prudent to roll out the wider use of LED lighting.

“The phase one pilot results have demonstrated energy and maintenance savings broadly in line with forecasts and lessons were learned regarding people’s experience of the new lighting.”

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