Work will start next month on replacing the borough’s old street-lights with new, energy efficient LED lanterns, saving the council over half a million pounds a year whilst also making streets safer.
Ealing’s 24,000 streetlights are maintained under a 25-year PFI (private finance initiative) contract and SSE Enterprise Contracting is responsible for their on-going maintenance.
The existing outdated high-pressure sodium lights will be replaced with the latest LED lanterns as part of SSE Enterprise Contracting’s normal maintenance programme. All of the new lights will be installed by October 2016. Ornate streetlights in conservation areas will not be changed to LED for now as the technology for these types of lights is not sufficiently developed yet. When it is, they will also be updated.
The council is investing £6million in the switch, but it is estimated that it will result in between 43% and 50% in savings in the annual street lighting electricity bills; around £400,000. The council will also save around £100,000 a year in maintenance costs as LED lights are more reliable and last for longer.
The council will make further savings on the amount it has to pay for the new Climate Change Levy that came into force last year. The council is now obliged to pay £16 per tonne of carbon it emits, which works out at more than £80,000 a year using the old type of lights. LED should reduce that figure by around half.
In addition to the financial savings, the new lights will bring other benefits. The ‘white light’ that is emitted makes it easier for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to see at night; reducing night time road traffic accidents and reducing the fear of crime. The LED lanterns will be designed so they can take advantage of future innovations.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Everyone wants to save money on their energy bills and, given the significant savings we have to make, this deal is a no-brainer with better lighting and significant savings for the council and residents.”
Mark Rough, SSE Enterprise Contracting Group Operations Director, said: “Street lighting technology has developed significantly in recent years, both in terms of performance and efficiency.
“It is therefore no surprise that Ealing Council is keen to take advantage of the benefits that come with upgrading to LED technology and we are delighted to be working with the local authority on this project.”