Lincolnshire County Council says switching off street lights has saved £2.5 million
The county council says converting lights to LEDs and switching off street lights between midnight and dawn has reduced carbon emissions by 6,200 metric tonnes a year and is saving £2.5m in annual electricity costs.
The latest figures, revealed by Lincolnshire County Council, show that the council expects to spend £1.95m to light the streets this year. Under previous arrangements, this would have cost local taxpayers £4.45m at today's prices.
The street lighting changes have also cut the council's carbon footprint by over 6,200 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – the equivalent emissions of driving a car around the Earth 4,000 times.
Since last year, town and parish councils have been able to apply to keep street lights on all night in their area for a one-off payment of £150 or £300 per light, depending on whether a separate visit is needed.
The county council has received a number of enquiries about changes to street lights. However, to date, only one formal submission has been made by Pinchbeck Parish Council for four lights on Grove Close. These lights will be changed as part of the routine maintenance schedule in the upcoming financial year.
Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: "This is a significant saving – above what we had initially estimated – and it allows us to invest more in the council's other priorities, including looking after older people and fixing even more potholes.
"There's no evidence that the change to part night lighting affected the crime rate in Lincolnshire, but we can now see that it has had a marked effect on cutting the impact on the environment.
"For those communities that still wanted the lights on all night, we put in the mechanism for local councils to request that. However, with just one parish council requesting four street lights to be left on, it's clear that residents aren't particularly concerned about the impact of part night lighting."
Just under half of Lincolnshire's 68,000 street lights have already been converted to LEDs, and around 42,000 currently operate on a part night lighting schedule.
Town and parish councils interested in requesting full night lighting in their area can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and their local county councillor. Requests can only be accepted from parish and town councils or the equivalent precept-setting authority.
If you have spotted a problem with a street light in Lincolnshire, you can report it through fixmystreet.lincolnshire.gov.uk
More by this authorGraham Newton