£5m plan to upgrade Hartlepool’s street lights to save on energy bill

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A MULTI-MILLION pound project to upgrade Hartlepool’s street lighting with energy efficient LED lights will be considered by councillors next week.

Hartlepool Borough Council says the scheme which will cost an estimated £5m will save the authority between £400,000 and £550,000 a year on its energy bill.

The council is proposing to replace all of Hartlepool’s 13,644 street lights to LEDs in a 12-month scheme.

A report by Alastair Smith, the council’s assistant director of neighbourhoods, said: “There is a great deal of uncertainty over the future cost of electricity with costs expected to rise at an above inflation rate for the foreseeable future.

“With current local government spending cuts also taking effect, it has been a priority to consider energy efficient alternatives with improved technology to try to reduce energy consumption and therefore control cost escalation in this service.

“LED lighting has been identified as the solution to rising energy costs by substantially reducing energy consumption whilst also reducing maintenance costs by utilising new technology that comes with a guarantee of over 20 years.

“The use of LED units will also provide benefits in the form of a saving of around 2,500 tonnes of carbon per year.”

The council currently spends around £790,000 a year to light the town’s street lights, signs and bollards but LEDs are said to use up to 70 per cent less energy.

Even after paying back the money the council expects to borrow so it can buy the new LED street lights, officers expect they will still be left with an annual saving of £180,000 a year in its street light maintenance budget.

The proposal will be discussed at Monday’s meeting of the neighbourhood services committee.

Councillors are being urged to approve it subject to a successful procurement exercise and the equipment costs are not more than £3.6m plus five per cent.

The financial side of the project will have to be approved by the council’s finance and policy committee and full council.

The council is also looking at replacing almost 3,000 street light columns that are over 30 or 40-years-old and a future report is being done.