LED street light scheme saving Calderdale Council millions on their power bill

Calderdale Council’s scheme to replace the type of bulbs used in its street lighting is set to save the authority more than £2 million on its power bill in 2022-23.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2022, 10:46 am

Calderdale Council spent more than £20 million replacing traditional lighting – the job also necessitated some new lamp posts and fittings – with LED bulbs instead.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said at a time of rapidly rising bills it was a decision she was glad the council had made.

She told a meeting of the full Calderdale Council the cost estimate for the electricity used to light Calderdale’s streets in 2022-23 was around £1.4 million compared to “business as usual” bulbs where the estimate showed a likely bill for Calderdale would be just over £4 million.

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Street light

“It really was an ‘invest-to-save’ – thank goodness we did it,” she said.

Coun Mike Barnes (Lab, Skircoat) said he had been stopped in the street by a resident who quoted something at him, that the then Deputy Leader of the Council – it was Barry Collins in 2017 – had said the lighting scheme would help the environment by using less energy and halve the council’s energy bill.

“The resident asked me ‘has it?’ So the question, with the rise in energy bills coming in, the failure of national Government to fully embrace the full benefits of energy efficient lighting, is can the current Deputy Leader advise whether we have achieved the objectives of the benefits set out?” he said.

Coun Scullion said the scheme was an invest-to-save initiative and indeed it had saved.

It was a journey that had taken longer than expected to replace columns and light fittings and was not without problems.

“But thank goodness we actually took the initiative.

“You know, the LED scheme was ahead of its time and, of course, the more electricity prices go up, the more notionally we are going to save,” she said.

The council had continued to use the invest-to-save principle in terms of other energy-saving measures, including installing air and heat source pumps in some of its buildings, said Coun Scullion.

In early 2018, the then Coun Collins estimated, with the average lifespan of an LED bulb being 25 years, that the scheme would eventually pay for itself.

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