New Street Lighting Proposed To Reduce Peninsula's Carbon Footprint

By Derek Davis

22nd Feb 2020 | Local News

Suffolk County Council is looking to reduce its carbon footprint by investing £9.8m in street lighting, if an LED street lighting replacement project is approved.

The council recognises the importance of climate change, the need to reduce the effects of this and its role in protecting the environment.

Following a review of its street lighting policy in 2010, and with energy prices set to increase at between 8% and 12% a year, Suffolk County Council has decided the high energy consumption of its existing lanterns could create further pressure on its resources in the near future.

The council owns and maintains more than 60,000 street lights. Back in 2010, the county council took numerous steps to help reduce both the energy costs and carbon footprint of its lighting stock. This included the introduction of part-night lighting arrangements, which hit many areas on the Shotley peninsula and the conversion to LED for those lighting units consuming the highest level of energy.

The proposal to convert the remaining street lighting stock to LED will help to reduce both Suffolk's energy consumption and carbon footprint, while providing crisper illumination of the streets for residents.

The project will also ensure Suffolk remains resilient to any future energy price increases.

Recommendations put forward by Councillor Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, will be considered at Suffolk County Council's Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 25 February.

Cabinet will consider:

• capital investment of £9.822m to enable all existing street lighting units to become LED with the capability for dimming;

• the setting of a dimming regime to all LED street lighting equivalent to an average power throughput level not exceeding 50%;

• the delegation of authority to the Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs and the Assistant Director of Operational Highways for determining specific levels of dimming that should apply.

Cllr Andrew Reid, said:  "We recognise the importance of our environment in Suffolk and the impacts of climate change. Where possible, we want to ensure that we protect and enhance the natural environment, decrease carbon emissions and reduce the use of scarce resources, for the well-being of future generations and the natural world. Initiatives such as this are important in helping us to achieve that aim.

"We will be replacing almost 43,000 lights with new energy saving LED lanterns. This will save approximately 60% of our current energy bill which can invested elsewhere. We will be able to reduce our carbon usage by around 80%, benefitting residents throughout Suffolk."

If Suffolk County Council's Cabinet agrees to the recommendations, the project will be completed in the autumn of 2022.

Suffolk CC, is among many councils, including Babergh District Council, looking to be carbon neutral by 2030 after recognising there is a climate crisis.

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