Leicestershire County Council has announced a major roll-out of its scheme to save money through dimming and switching off street lights overnight.
Over the next few months, the council will begin surveying another 18,500 of the county's 68,000 street lights to see if they can be fitted with new energy-saving cells and control gear allowing dimming or part-night lighting.
The move builds on the success of the first phase of the programme, which has seen the county turn off more than 5,000 lamps in 26 towns and villages across Leicestershire between midnight and 5.30am. A further 700 have been dimmed between 7pm and 7am and 1,000 switched off permanently.
Those changes – only made after consultation with parish councils and the emergency services – have already saved Leicestershire County Council £40,000.
By 2014, the council believes it will have adapted three quarters of its street lights to be either dimmed or part-lit overnight. That programme will put the authority on course to cut £700,000 a year from its current annual energy bill of £3million.
Lesley Pendleton, County Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “This is a very ambitious programme but one that has also been carefully consulted on at all stages.
“We understand that people have concerns over safety, but overnight dimming or switching off only takes place when parish councils have been consulted. We are making big savings on our energy bill, but not at the expense of public safety or security.”