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Agenda item

LED Lighting

In consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, it was agreed that the Committee consider this item - as listed on the Cabinet Forward Work Programme for December 2018.


The item will report on an invest to save scheme, to replace existing street lighting lanterns with LED units.


Report to be circulated.  


The Committee received the report of the Director of Highways and Transport seeking comment on proposals to proceed with an ‘invest to save’ project to convert the Council’s existing street lighting to more energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) units, and to the procurement of the new lighting units, prior to the final report being considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 11 December 2018.


The report indicated that energy costs had risen sharply in recent years, with an expectation that the costs would continue to rise in the future. The annual energy costs for street lighting are currently over £1.9m and with budget restrictions the costs were becoming increasingly unaffordable. Members were reminded that the Council had implemented a scheme to reduce energy consumption by operating the street lighting in the side roads in towns for part of the night only. This scheme was introduced from 2014 in all of the larger towns, and has operated successfully. Rising energy costs, and the reducing cost of LED lighting, have justified reviewing the case for LED lighting. The current units are becoming obsolete and going out of production, and are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.


The report noted that LED lights used considerably less energy than the current lighting units, and a major advantage is that LED lights provide the opportunity to dim the lighting during off-peak periods to further reduce energy consumption. The report detailed the costs of the project and potential savings that could be achieved by implementing the proposals, with a payback period of just over 11 years.


The Head of Highways Asset Management responded to a number of questions and issues raised by members. In particular:


·         the scheme being classed as a ‘invest to save’ scheme with a 100% replacement of lighting units; 

·         The siting of lighting columns and the positive effect on pavement lumination.

·         The potential to reduce road and pavement accidents.

·         The versatility of LED lights due to the ability to dim and trim the lights remotely at certain times of the day in urban and rural areas.

·         The inability to use solar technology for street lighting.

·         The recovery of costs where lighting columns are damaged in road traffic accidents.

·         Inclusion of tree works within the overall programme of works for lighting columns.

·         The responsibility for maintaining street lights in housing estate open spaces.

·         The impact of ‘Dark Sky Status’ for rural areas.

·         The maintenance costs included in the overall budget for the project.

·         Responsibilities for the delivery of the project.

·         The checking of lighting columns for their suitability to take the new LED lighting units. 

·         The use of IT to monitor the costs of the new lighting units.



i)             To endorse the scheme to replace the Council’s older street lighting lanterns with LED units.

ii)            Acknowledge the economic benefits of the proposed LED lighting project and the environmental benefits it will bring, especially in terms of reduced carbon footprint.

iii)          To note the provision in the Council’s capital budget from 2019/20 for the scheme.

iv)          To note the proposal to dim the new lighting between 8.00pm and 6.00am, with additional dimming after 11.00pm and explore the possibility of trimming at other times.

v)            To ask the Director of Highways and transport to give consideration to the options for extending the LED lighting to other suitable Council owned lighting, including in public open space and car parks.

vi)          To delegate authority to the Director, Highways and Transport, in consultation with the Cabinet Member, Highways, Transport and Waste and to invite tenders and award contracts for the supply of LED lighting units in consultation with the Director Finance and Procurement


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