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Brighter eco-friendly street lights coming to a street near you

Posted: 5th November 2018

New energy efficient street lights are set to be rolled out across the Capital from later this month, generating savings of £54 million for the city over 20 years.

The move follows a successful 2012 pilot project and follow-up scheme in 2014 to replace around 7000 obsolete lanterns in Edinburgh with Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights. These ‘white light’ technology lamps give off a clearer light and can last for more than 20 years,compared to existing lights’ current life span of just two to four years.

The crisper light and new technology enhance community safety by making CCTV images clearer and by allowing light levels to be varied.

The Council has approximately 65,000 street lights, costing around £3m in energy alone every year. Energy costs continue to rise and the current lanterns are becoming obsolete, making them harder and costlier to maintain.

To pre-empt these increases, £24.5m* is being spent on upgrading all the city’s street lights; replacing inefficient lanterns with modern, energy efficient and environmentally friendly ones. This will achieve savings for the taxpayer of £54m over 20 years.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “Residents in the pilot areas for the new lights overwhelmingly said that they preferred the crisper, brighter light to the orangey glow of the old, inefficient street lights.  As well as saving the city millions of pounds, replacing the old lights will help cut our CO2 emissions in Edinburgh and comply with Scottish Government energy efficiency legislation.

“We’re gearing up now to introduce energy efficient street lights to streets and communities right across the Capital. We’ll make every effort to minimise disruption to residents and businesses throughout and will target information locally as the roll-out comes to different wards.”

A dynamic street lighting monitoring and control system (CMS) will also be installed, giving much greater, centralised control over the city’s lighting. The CMS will provide real-time monitoring and reporting to identify and track faults, which will cut the number of residents’ complaints about broken street lights and remove the need for street lighting staff to undertake night-time scouting work to identify faulty lights.

It will also track actual energy consumption, submitting information directly to the Meter Administrator and increasing the accuracy of energy billing.

The ward-by-ward rollout of energy efficient street lights is due to start in Ward 7 (Sighthill / Gorgie) in w/c 12 November.

*Prudential borrowing of £24.518m was approved by Full Council on 19 November 2015. The project is anticipated to deliver revenue savings of £3.6m and avoid costs of more than £54m associated with increasing energy prices.

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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