UK councils are moving towards LED streetlights in a bid to cut carbon emissions and energy bills but the high cost of initial installation is putting some councils off, a Press Association freedom of information request has found.
It also found that 70 per cent of councils responsible for street lighting now operate or are planning dimming or partial night-time switch-off regimes for lamps in their area. Some councils are only responsible for a small number of lights, such as for footways, parks or in rural areas, while some have more under their jurisdiction.
Some 160 local authorities across England supplied information to the Press Association about street lighting under their control.
Examples include Kent County Council, which said that the switch to LEDs for its 118,000 lights will save more than 16,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and £5.2m based on current energy prices.
Northumberland County Council has almost converted all its 46,500 lights to LED, which, combined with dimming lights, will save 6,675 tonnes over the lifetime of the project. It is reducing energy consumption by 63.6 per cent, which equates to a current annual saving of £1.25m, the council said.
It is a similar story for cities such as Plymouth, where a 96 per cent conversion to LEDs has generated an energy cost reduction of £1.35m this year and an annual carbon emissions saving of just under 6,000 tonnes.
But while half of councils have made a significant shift towards the energy-saving technology, others have yet to jump onboard.
Those who have not made a decision to pursue a wholesale switch cited the capital costs, time and resources needed.
A handful said they had changed many lights to other forms of energy-efficient lamps under a private finance initiative.
Those who have made the switch are typically saving tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, and some councils with the largest number of lights are saving more than £1m a year.
Martin Tett, environment spokesman at the Local Government Association, said: [Switching off, dimming or changing to LED streetlights won`t happen everywhere, but some councils may decide it can save taxpayers money and improve the environment in a safe way.
[With local government facing a funding gap of £8bn by 2025, reducing or changing to LED street lights can also free up vital cash to protect under-pressure services such as child protection, adult social care, collecting bins and filling potholes."
But the AA has warned against switching off lights on main roads, particularly on those with speed limits of 40mph or more, and that energy-saving lights can prevent drivers and pedestrians seeing properly.
Edmund King, AA president, said: [While we are sympathetic towards local authorities wanting to reduce CO2 emissions or save cash, we implore them to consider the safety consequences first.
[Inquests have confirmed 11 road accident fatalities as a result of street lights being switched off. In addition in some areas the elderly and others are scared to venture out when the lights are switched off."
Earlier this week a report found that the UK`s carbon emissions have fallen by two-fifths since 1990 with energy-saving bulbs being cited as one of the factors.
The EU also banned the sale of halogen bulbs in September 2018 to push greater energy efficiency across the continent.
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Shenzhen RIYUEGUANGHUA Technology Co., Limited is a professional LED light manufacturer
since 2013. which is specializing in research, manufacturing and sales of LED lighting products.
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