Kent County Council is on track to significantly reduce its carbon footprint after investing in a major street lighting replacement project.
The council is set to save millions each year on its energy bills, following the ambitious lighting upgrade programme. The county will see all street lighting units replaced with more modern alternatives, in addition to the installation of a Central Management System (CMS).
In total, over 120,000 outdated lanterns will be replaced with highly efficient LED luminaires and will significantly lower the council’s energy consumption.
The new LED fittings will reduce the amount of energy used without compromising on the quality of lighting output provided. Upgrades to the CMS will also enable the council to control lighting output, enabling the lights to be optimised in various conditions, as well as dimmed if needed, resulting in further energy savings.
Thanks to the upgrades, the council expect to save an impressive 67% on their annual energy bills. The switch will also reduce the council’s greenhouse gas emissions, predicted to make annual carbon savings of over 17,000 tonnes of CO2e, in line with carbon reduction targets.
As well as the financial savings made from lower energy bills, the upgrades will have the added benefit of reducing maintenance costs for the council, due to the longer lifetime of the LED lanterns. The CMS is also able to report faults in real time, improving the customer experience for residents.
Kent County Council is striving to inspire other local authorities to follow suit and move towards the provision of LED street lighting.
The council has been able to make the improvements thanks to a £27m interest-free loan from Salix Finance, an independent, government-funded organisation that provides interest-free funding to public sector organisations to help them reduce their carbon emissions whilst reducing their energy spend.
The loan was used to part-fund the £40m project, which is one of the largest UK street light replacement schemes that Salix has worked on to date.
The final phase of this on-going programme is due to complete in the first half of 2019. Once the interest-free Salix loan has been repaid from energy savings, the council will reinvest further savings in other key services.