New street lighting proposed to reduce the County’s carbon footprint

Suffolk County Council is looking to reduce its carbon footprint by investing £9.8m in street lighting, after Cabinet approved an LED street lighting replacement project.

Following a review of its street lighting policy in 2010, and with energy prices set to increase at between 8% and 12% a year, the Council has decided the high energy consumption of its existing lanterns could create further pressure on its resources in the near future.

The Council owns and maintains over 60,000 street lights. Back in 2010, the Council took numerous steps to help reduce both the energy costs and carbon footprint of its lighting stock. This included the introduction of part-night lighting arrangements and conversion to LED for those lighting units that were consuming the highest level of energy.

The proposal to convert the remaining street lighting stock to LED will help to reduce both Suffolk’s energy consumption and carbon footprint, whilst providing crisper illumination of the streets for residents. The project will also ensure that Suffolk remains resilient to any future energy price increases. The project will be completed in the autumn of 2022.

Councillor Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:

“We recognise the importance of our environment in Suffolk and the impacts of climate change. Where possible, we want to ensure that we protect and enhance the natural environment, decrease carbon emissions and reduce the use of scarce resources, for the well-being of future generations and the natural world. Initiatives such as this are important in helping us to achieve that aim.

“We will be replacing almost 43,000 lights with new energy saving LED lanterns. This will save approximately 60% of our current energy bill which can invested elsewhere. We will be able to reduce our carbon usage by around 80%, benefitting residents throughout Suffolk.”