Cumbria spending £7.6m on energy saving street lamps

Cumbria County Council is splashing £7.6 million on new energy efficient street lighting. It is upgrading thousands of old higher watt street lights and replacing them with LED systems. Nearly […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Cumbria County Council is splashing £7.6 million on new energy efficient street lighting.

It is upgrading thousands of old higher watt street lights and replacing them with LED systems.

Nearly 12,000 LED light bulbs will go up in the county which is home to the Lake District.

Keeping streets properly lit is an expensive business – the council spends £3.7m on it every year and £2m of that is spent on energy.

As new lights are gradually swapped in over three years, they are expected to save the council £140,000 in 2014-15, rising to £290,000 in 2015-16 and £430,000 a year by 2016-17.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for highways said: “The council is just like households all over the country – we want to cut our energy bills and there are ways of using modern technology to do that. We’re making the investment now to help us save money and conserve energy further down the line.”

Lighting experts said Cumbria residents will benefit “greatly” from the revamped road lights.

Steven Ellwood, Managing Director of lighting provider BLT Direct said: “LEDs are much brighter than their older incandescent ancestors and they consume much less energy. This results in cost savings for the council – savings which can be channelled into something more urgent and pressing.”

The new LED lights can be dimmed compared with some older lights which can only be fully 100% on or fully off.

The council will dim lights where “appropriate and safe” and said this will only apply to roughly a third of Cumbria’s street lights – the 12,000 new LED lights plus around 3,000 dimmable older lights.