Plymouth Streetlights Could Be Replaced With Energy Saving LEDs

A huge energy programme is being unveiled by Plymouth City Council to light the way for a brighter and greener future that will save residents millions.

All of the city's streetlights could be replaced with brighter, energy saving LEDs, more Council buildings could have solar panels and old boilers would be replaced.

The £13 million programme of money and energy saving measures is being considered by Cabinet on Tuesday 12 February. It includes three major projects:

•    The city wide replacement of the existing High Pressure Sodium (SON) street lamps with state of the art Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps,
•    Installing solar panels on 14 Council buildings,
•    Replacing old and energy inefficient boilers.

The four year plan outlines Council initiatives to reduce costs by an average of £1.5 million per year over the next 20 years. These savings would avoid a rise of £13 per annual council tax bill. They could also reduce CO2 emissions by up to 3,200 tonnes each year, putting the Council on target to reduce its emissions by 20 per cent by 2014/15.

Cabinet will be asked to consider a city wide programme of street light replacements. Approximately 28,000 SON street lamps which produce an orange light would be replaced with LED lamps which have a white light that is clearer and brighter. They improve the quality of the lighting, allowing drivers to make out details more easily and making our streets safer at night for pedestrians. This directly addresses concerns about fear of crime and road safety highlighted in the most recent Household Survey.

LED street lamps are environmentally friendly, use less energy and create less light pollution. It is estimated that replacement of the old lamps with LED technology could reduce the Council's street lighting costs by up to 70 per cent. A number of other councils have also begun similar replacement projects to save money and improve safety.

The Council's solar panels project could be extended to 14 more Council buildings. Panels with a total output of 82.5kW have already been installed on four Council properties across the city. They will generate yearly savings of £7,000 and £11,000 in revenue from government subsidies and reduce CO2 by 37 tonnes per year.

Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet member for Finance said: "These projects are all about saving the council tax payer a lot of money and therefore protecting front line services. Of course they also have considerable other benefits, making our city a safer and more environmentally friendly place to live and work and they contribute to our commitment to cut emissions from our buildings."

Plymouth is already ranked 8th city in the country in terms of the lowest CO2 emissions per capita (Cities Outlook, 2013). The Council is also looking into an energy co-operative scheme that would negotiate lower energy bills for its members and further contribute to the aim of becoming a carbon neutral council.

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