Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Monday February 25, 2019 WC to light up Wiltshire with modern technology.

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Annual savings of more than £1m a year are expected.

The council is responsible for almost 45,000 lights on its highways. But with energy costs rising sharply it is investing more than £12m to replace older lamps with Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting.

Unlike older lights, LED can be dimmed to save energy. The intention is to dim the lights from 8pm to 6am. That will cut energy consumption by 69% while keeping roads as safe as possible.

Subject to the proposals being approved by Full Council, procurement will get underway, with the two-year installation planned for 2019/20. The council has also agreed to consider converting non-highway lighting to LED, including public open spaces, car parks and housing estates, subject to suitability and cost.

• The annual energy costs for street lighting is currently over £1,900,000, and with current budget restrictions these costs are becoming increasingly unaffordable.

• The council has an aspiration to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon by 2020, and street lighting energy provides a significant opportunity to reduce the council’s carbon footprint

• The council did implement a scheme to reduce energy consumption by operating the highway street lighting in the side roads in towns for part of the night. This scheme was introduced from 2014 in all of the larger towns, and has operated successfully. However, the rising energy costs justify reviewing the situation with regard to LED lighting.

• The cost of converting the majority of the council’s street lighting to LED lighting is estimated as being £12,295,000. It is considered that it should be feasible to carry out the installation within two years. Once the installation is complete the scheme is expected to deliver savings of at least £1,312,000 annually at current prices, comprising £250,000 reduction in street lighting maintenance costs and £1,062,000 in reduced energy usage.

• A cost benefit analysis has been undertaken. Based on anticipated energy cost increases and borrowing costs, the project would have a positive economic return, and will pay back in 11.88 years.