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WC goes LED following LD proposal.

December 4, 2018 4:05 PM

Wiltshire Council is going to convert its street lighting to LED at a cost of £12million.

The decision follows a Lib Dem budget amendment in February 2012 which stated: Street lighting - It is proposed that in addition to the administration's proposals to turn off street lights, half of those remaining lit will be transferred onto LED bulbs to yield a saving in energy costs. This will require capital investment of around £2.800m with a borrowing cost of circa £0.250m. As such this proposal will be cost neutral for 10 years after which point it will yield payback or £0.250m per annum.

Although nothing happened at the time, the council has now decided to proceed and replace all its lights. The economics have changed to make the switch even more viable. The old style lights are becoming ever more expensive to replace and maintain, and the cost of power continues to rise. WC estimates a pay-back time of 12 years or less. The current cost of keeping 45,000 street lights going is nearly £2m per annum.

The project will be approved by the WC 'cabinet' in December following consideration by the Environment Committee in November.

At the same time as the lights are replaced the existing columns will be checked to make sure they're safe and stable.

LED lights can be dimmed during the early hours which would save more energy, though it's possible that in areas where the lights currently go out between midnight and 5am, a dimmed lighting could be re-introduced.

The energy consumption for the street lighting units to be converted to LED is expected to reduce from 12,977,500 KWh to 5,262,291 KWh. This equates to a reduction in CO2 of 1,770 tCO2 (from 4,950 tCO2 to 3,180 tCO2).

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 on reduced energy usage. The LEDs are forecast to reduce the Highways network energy consumption by 57.4% overall.

Cabinet agenda - see item 12