Upgraded LED street lights across Swindon results in at least 60 per cent reduction in energy usage

Swindon Borough Council has made a significant dent to its carbon footprint and electricity bills after converting 26,000 street lights to LEDs.

Published: Friday, 15th July 2022

an LED light engineer stood next to children holding an LED light unit

The initiative has resulted in at least a 60 per cent reduction in energy usage, and will bring savings of approximately £800,000 per year.

The £7.2m project to change the old inefficient lights to modern LEDs, which began in July 2020, marks a huge step in the Council’s commitment to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2030.

The old low pressure sodium street lights were costing the Council £1.3m every year, and this was only expected to increase with rising energy costs. The lights also accounted for 3,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions which was more than half of the Council’s electricity-related emissions.

The old lights required a warm-up period, were inefficient, and projected an orange glow onto objects.

The new LED street lights can be turned on straight away and direct a brighter light down, making it safer for motorists and pedestrians.

Another benefit is that these new lights have a significantly longer lifespan, lasting for around 20 to 25 years, whereas the old lights needed to be replaced every three to six years. The upgraded lights are also significantly cheaper to operate and maintain, and can be switched off and dimmed during off-peak periods to further save energy.

As part of the project, street lighting columns that had reached the end of their lifespan were replaced with new poles and fixings.

Additionally, the new asset management system which accompanies the new lights enables the Council to actively and more efficiently manage any individual light across the Borough.

Children from Ferndale Primary school, as well as Councillor Keith Williams, were at Wiltshire Avenue today to hand over the last LED unit to Enerveo’s engineer, Martin.

Annabel (9), Joshua and Payton (both 6 six years old), were accompanied by their teachers Katie Storey and Jo Bellman to help out with the installation.

Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Finance and Commercialisation, Councillor Keith Williams, said: “Like residents and organisations across Swindon, we’re committed to taking the action demanded by the climate emergency.

“Converting to more effective and energy-efficient LED street lights across Swindon is a triple win – bringing down the Council’s electricity usage, carbon footprint and energy bills.

“In our own homes too, replacing all light bulbs with LED lights could reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40kg a year. This is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by driving a car around 145 miles. Every action makes a difference, multiplied across the community.

“This project is an important step for the Council to make sure we continue to fight climate change.”

Patrick Rooney, the Director of Highway Electrical at Enerveo, said: “Our working partnership with Swindon Borough Council continues to evolve as the years go on. Enerveo is proud to be a part of the Council's sustainability and Net Zero journey. By working together and addressing energy usage, we create positive environmental, community, and financial savings for everyone involved.

 “We have a vital role in creating a sustainable future within and outside of our organisation, and we are committed to projects such as this that align with our own goals for combatting climate change. Go to the Enerveo website to see our Carbon Reduction Plan.”

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