COUNCILLORS have backed plans to replace all of Hartlepool’s street lights at a cost of nearly £5m.
Members of Hartlepool Borough Council’s neighbourhood services committee approved the replacement of 13,644 lanterns with modern new LED lights.
The scheme, which doesn’t include replacing street light columns, will be carried out in-house and is expected to take around 12 months.
A strategy for replacing the columns will be the subject of a further report.
Energy savings from the installation of new LED lanterns will cover the cost of borrowing money to fund the replacement scheme and there will still be an annual saving of £220,000 from 2015-15 – £40,000 from energy savings after loan repayments and £180,000 on reduced annual maintenance costs.
Alastair Smith, assistant director (neighbourhoods), said: “The council currently spends around £790,000 a year on electricity charges to illuminate its street lights, signs and bollards.
“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 and reduce energy consumption and control cost escalation.
“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.
“LED manufacturing companies had demonstrated that energy consumption can be reduced by 70 per cent on average.”
Following the committee’s decision, the matter will now be referred to the finance and policy committee and then full council for approval.