£40m streetlights switch will cut KCC electric bills
A £40m scheme to convert all of the county’s streetlights with more efficient bulbs will get under way in March but the replacement programme will take more than three years to complete.
Kent County Council has signed a contract with engineering company Bouygues Energies and Services to carry out the work and has borrowed £22m to fund it.
KCC says it will save £5.2m a year once all the lights are fitted with LED bulbs and it will have the flexibility to adapt lighting levels across all the county.
That could mean lights being dimmed or being switched off altogether.
At the moment, it costs KCC nearly £9.5 million a year in maintenance, electricity costs and the associated carbon tax to run streetlights and lit signs.
Cllr Matthew Balfour (Con), Kent County Council cabinet member for transport, said: “By embracing LED lighting in one of the largest projects of its kind in the United Kingdom, we can Cllr Matthew Balfour: ‘LED lighting will make savings and cut our carbon footprint’ make significant savings to our electricity bill and cut our carbon footprint. We will prioritise residential areas before tackling town centres and the main roads.”
The county council last year abandoned its original streetlight switch-off trial after a longrunning controversy over how it was being implemented and widespread opposition.
There were claims the switchoff had led to an increase in crime in some residential areas and left people vulnerable.
KCC then consulted on its new plans inviting views on all-night lighting, part-night lighting and dimming lights between midnight and 5.30am.
The results of this consultation are expected to be discussed in February.
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The £40m scheme to replace the county’s street lamps with LEDs will take more than three years to complete