Upgrading inefficient street lighting to LED is a popular choice amongst local authorities working towards carbon reduction targets, as more councils are realising significant energy savings and reductions in carbon emissions after making the switch. One excellent example of a local authority which is utilising its street lighting to support their carbon reduction targets is Kent County Council.
Kent County Council’s street lighting programme is one of the largest of its kind to date in Europe, upgrading over 120,000 lanterns to LED across the county. So far Salix Finance has supported the project by providing over £27 million of interest-free finance, contributing 69% towards the total £39 million project cost. The council is looking to expand the scope of the programme and is working with Salix to support the successful delivery of this. The three-year installation is due to complete later this year and is set to save the council approximately 67% off their street lighting energy bill, saving over 17,750 tonnes of CO2e annually*.
Before this ambitious project, street lighting in the county consumed 51,000,000 kWhrs annually, which generated around 27,500 tonnes of CO2e per year and accounted for nearly half of the council’s carbon footprint. Over 120,000 SOX, SON and COP lanterns are being converted to LED on residential and main traffic routes across the county. The scheme also involves installing a smart Central Management System (CMS) to optimise light output with an adaptable dimming regime, further reducing electricity consumption. The CMS will enable the remote identification and tracking of faults in real time, providing an improved service to residents.
Kent County Council cabinet member for transport, Mike Whiting, says “As we near completion, we have been able to realise several benefits including cost savings for the taxpayer, cutting-edge technology and sustainability for the environment and future generations. We are also able to quickly rectify outages, to ensure that the correct amount of light is used and roads are not over lit, and eliminate the need for switch-offs”.
Kent County Council has worked in partnership with Salix since 2004 in support of their ongoing commitment to carbon reduction. This has resulted in a wide range of projects within their non-domestic buildings estate, including internal lighting, controls, boilers, and insulation.
* Calculated using emissions factors published by government in 2014 for carbon footprinting. All figures in article accurate as of March 2018.