New efficient street lighting will pay for itself within seven years

BRIGHT LIGHTS: Cllr David Fothergill with project manager Dane Cloke (centre) and Russell Bradford (left) of SSE Enterprise

A MASSIVE £3.6 million, six-month programme to replace 18,000 plus street lights across Somerset will start this month.

Somerset County Council will replace around one third of its street lights with greener, more efficient and ‘Dark Sky’ approved (to help reduce light pollution) LED technology.

As each new light will use around 53 per cent less energy, the initial capital investment of £3.6 million should be paid back in less than seven years.

Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This is a significant investment but one that makes sense on every level. The new street lights will use considerably less energy which means they are better for the environment and drastically reduce running costs – so the investment will pay for itself in a relatively short space of time.

“They’re also Dark Sky approved, reducing light pollution by directing the light on the street where you need it, rather than being lost into the night sky.”

Somerset County Council already has a policy of replacing expired or damaged street lights with LEDs and there are currently around 6,500 across Somerset.

This latest contract will see a further 18,148 lamps replaced between September and March 2017 at locations all across the county where the existing street light columns are suitable for upgrading to LEDs.

A further bid for capital funding is also in progress which, if successful, would see the rollout of more LEDs in future.

Daren Bowden, Regional Director for SSE Enterprise, said: “As the UK’s largest street lighting contractor, SSE Enterprise is committed to promoting the many benefits that LED technology brings to both the environment through reducing CO2 and light pollution but also the social benefits through increased quality of lighting.

“We’re proud to be working in partnership with Somerset County Council to deliver this forward thinking step change towards LED street lighting.”

For further information about the new LED street lighting programme, visit http://wp. me/p3F24A-1Oo.

Chief Reporter | Started his working life on a farm before becoming a screen printer, both in Sweden. Had another career change and turned to journalism in the mid1990s. Enjoyed an internship with Alexandria Gazette Packet, Va, USA, before moving to the UK. Got a job with The Clarion in Yeovil in 1998, but moved to Axminster in 2006 and has worked on the East Devon beat since.

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