A £22m bright idea to replace street lights

Old style amber lamps and the new white light street lights on the Greenacres estate, Shelf.
Old style amber lamps and the new white light street lights on the Greenacres estate, Shelf.

Calderdale’s 30,000 light bulbs in street lights and lanterns could be replaced over the next four years at the cost of over £22 million.

Calderdale Council is looking at the future of street lights in the borough, to improve their condition, reliability and energy efficiency.

At the meeting of the Economy and Investment Panel, members discussed options for improving and investing in the street lighting network.

In the report by Mark Thompson, director of economy and environment, the scheme to replace 19,039 lanterns and 10,929 lamposts will cost £22.2m.

The cost includes the sum of £406k to complete two asset surveys. An allocation of £700,000 will allow four members of staff to manage the project.

It is anticipated that £6.846m will be available to fund the scheme and comprimises of £3m capital allocation, a contribution of £2m from the highwways avenue budget and further savings from energy, maintenance and carbon tax savings totalling £1.846m.

The balance of £13.165m will be met from prudential borrowing. Discussions will continue with other organisations to provide additional funding

Calderdale Council’s chair of the economy and investment panel, Councillor Barry Collins, said: “It’s essential that we continue to invest in the street lighting network using technology to improve reliability and to reduce energy costs.

“Many of the street lights in Calderdale are old and are not energy efficient. Some are over 50 years old, a lot older than their designed life span.

“By installing new LED lights we could keep the streets well lit and safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and also help with crime prevention as they would improve the quality of CCTV images captured at night.”

The council currently spends £1.3million on street lighting energy each year, and their carbon dioxide emissions cost the council £50k annually.

The panel looked at the existing infrastructure in place and discussed a number of options for the future to improve the network and make energy savings.

The proposals included the installation of white LED lights to replace existing bulbs across Calderdale. This type of new energy efficient LED street lighting could save up to £900,000 a year in energy costs and other savings.

Members also discussed how streetlight technology can be incorporated into future flood resilience, looking at options such as Wi-Fi connections in lighting columns, higher level connections and battery backup in the event of power interruptions.

The recommendations will go before the Council’s Cabinet, on Monday, April 11.