Work to replace all the street lights in Melton with energy-saving LEDs, which can be remotely switched back on in emergencies or dimmed if required, is almost complete.
Leicestershire County Council says it has upgraded around 99 per cent of the county’s 68,000 street lights as part of a £25 million investment programme, which also includes the removal of unnecessary highway sign lighting.
The technology being installed is set to save the authority £2 million a year and the scheme has already seen a reduction in the carbon footprint by 4,450 tonnes.
Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for highways at County Hall, said: “I am delighted to see that the LED scheme is almost complete – with 603 lights left to change – and that it is already having a positive effect in the county.
“We are committed to providing an economic, safe and sustainable way of lighting up towns and villages in the area and it is great to see residents and motorists already benefiting from the upgraded lighting.
“The new lighting enables us to be more flexible in how we manage lighting and helps make the county look more modern as well as being more energy efficient.”
The new lights will be controlled by a central management system. This provides flexibility in how lighting is provided, for example enabling those in part-lit areas to be switched back on temporarily during the evening to help the emergency services at incident scenes if necessary, or to dim or brighten lights if needed.
Once the project, which began in February 2016, is complete, the expected annual energy usage will be 10.98 million kwh (kilowatt) as opposed to the 26.9 million kwh in 2013/14 – a 59 per cent reduction, which translates to a carbon saving of 5,600 tonnes.
The council’s full street lighting installations are expected to be completed next month.
The new lights will save money through a combination of reduced energy bills and lower maintenance costs, as the reliability of the LED bulbs is significantly better than traditional street lights.