Southend-on-Sea BC has accelerated its project to replace all street lights with LED lamps after securing a groundbreaking financial arrangement with the Green Investment Bank.
The £13.5m project to replace the borough’s 14,000 street lights will be delivered faster thanks to a £5.1m Department for Transport grant and a further £8.2m 'bespoke financial arrangement' with the Green Investment Bank.
Cllr Martin Terry, executive member for public protection, waste and Transport, said: ' We’ve chosen a pioneering solution that shields residents from an increased fear of crime and poorer road safety that are often associated with turning the street lights out.
'We’re proud to be the first local authority in England to use the Green Investment Bank in this way, securing a favourable financial arrangement that will speed up this ambitious, innovative and hugely important project.'
The local authority said the new low-energy streetlights would 'more than pay for themselves within their lifetime through energy savings while generating carbon savings for the borough'.
The project will include a new central management system (CMS) that allows the council to remotely manage its lighting assets and has been extended to replace or refurbish all illuminated street furniture and ageing lighting columns.
Gregor Paterson-Jones, managing director of Energy Efficiency at the Green Investment Bank, added: 'Switching all of the UK’s streetlights could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 475,000 tonnes every year. That’s the equivalent of taking over 200,000 cars off the road. This bespoke financial arrangement is specifically designed to help spread costs. Councils that make similar investments could benefit from immediate cost savings that help alleviate budgetary pressures.'
LEDs can provide 100,000 hours of light, compared with just 15,000 hours for standard bulbs.