Leeds City Council has shaved nearly £3m off the expected cost of its programme to upgrade all the city’s street lights to LEDs.
In December 2018, the council's executive board approved a plan to invest £25.4m to convert 86,000 lights across the city to new LED lamps.
The council said it has since been working with street lighting partner TVL on finalising the details, with an agreement now reached to allow the four-year delivery period to start in September at a reduced total cost of £22.5m.
Executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development Lisa Mulherin said: ‘Having made a commitment to doing everything we can to tackle the climate emergency and become carbon neutral as a city, looking at our street lights and making them as energy efficient as we can by converting them to the latest LEDs is a key priority.
‘As well as making them much more energy efficient, and being fully recyclable, this programme delivers significant financial savings and will have paid for itself in around seven years.’
The council said it currently spends around £4.8m a year on electricity to run approximately 92,000 street lights, with 6,000 of these already earmarked to be converted to LED.
The confirmed programme will convert the remaining 86,000, generating savings of £3.4m a year at current energy prices when the work is complete.
Conversion of the street lights is estimated to reduce street lighting energy consumption in the city by approximately 62%, delivering around 7,050 tonnes of carbon savings, which will contribute to the council's commitment to ‘working towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030’.
As part of the upgrade, Leeds City Council has approved funding of £5m to make the system remotely controllable using the latest technology as part of the 'Smart City' approach. This would enable the system to be controlled in real-time, connected as a full network and will also integrate with other city infrastructure such CCTV, air quality and temperature monitoring.
Discussions around this aspect of the project are continuing, the council said.
It added that there are no plans for further nightime switch-offs at this stage, with the position being kept under review.