Let there be light! Power-saving LEDs net Halton Council £250,000
● A MASSIVE street light upgrade scheme has slashed Widnes and Runcorn’s annual energy bill by £250,000 according to Halton Council.
The local authority said it has upgraded more than 7,000 lanterns to LED, resulting in two million kilowatt hours of power being saved every year.
A council spokeswoman said this is equivalent to £250,000 at 2018 prices, and a reduction of 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Installation of LED lights began in 2009 and at an increasing rate since then.
Converting to LED is intended to provide better lighting for road users and a greater feeling of safety and security.
The council spokeswoman said the upgraded lanterns have improved control of light distribution which means more light falls on where it is needed and less illumination is spilled away where it is not needed.
In 2015, after a bid to the Department Of Energy And Climate Change (DECC), the council received a grant towards the installation of around 2,000 LED street lights.
From 2016, the executive board agreed a programme to roll out LED installation for the rest of the borough at the rate of around 2,500 lanterns per year.
In the first two years of this programme, more than 5,000 lanterns have been upgraded or replaced with LED.
These energy-efficient units, lower power consumption typically by 50% or more.
They also need less maintenance than previous technologies.
In addition, the LED street lights vary the light levels during the night when road use is minimal, producing further energy savings.
Typical overall energy savings of the schemes that have been installed in Halton to date have resulted in an energy reduction of around 70%.
To date more than 13,000 of Halton’s 20,000 street lights have been converted or changed to LED.
The spokeswoman said the council has continued to shop around for the best prices, which are now 75% less than in 2009.
Ongoing improvements to the LEDs have also increased efficiency by up to 30% since the first ones were fitted nine years ago.
The residential roads programme is due to be completed by the end of March 2021.
Cllr Stan Hill (highways and transport) said: “It is essential that we spend money on modernising our street lights to guard against rising energy prices and maintenance costs, and the savings that have been made, both in cost and energy, by installing these LED lights are tremendous.
“We have received some very positive comments from residents about the new lights as they are being installed around the borough.”
Cllr Stan Hill, Halton Borough Council’s executive board member for highways and transport, with one of the LED lights