Nottinghamshire saves more than £20m with LED streetlights 

LED Street Lighting Conversion Project has replaced almost 95,000 conventional sodium streetlights over a nine-year period, resulting in huge savings – to the environment and public purse. 

The ambitious conversion programme has been undertaken by Via East Midlands on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council. Work has spanned the county’s seven district and borough council areas, where more than 98% of streetlights are now LED. (Some, mainly specialist and decorative lighting, remains as sodium lanterns.) 

Two men in high-visibility clothing by the back of a truck next to a streetlight

Cllr Neil Clarke MBE (left) at the completion of the LED Street Lighting Conversion Project, photo courtesy of Nottinghamshire County Council

The benefits of the conversion programme are clearly visible. The new LED lights give better illumination and enhanced night-time visibility, which in turn helps to provide a safe and secure environment across the county. But other benefits are not so obvious to the eye. The LEDs are much more energy efficient – and that means better lighting that is also much cheaper. 

Since the project began in 2014, the council has reduced annual energy consumption by more than 135m kilowatt hours (kWh) and cut carbon emissions by more than 107,000 tonnes. This has in turn generated more than £20m in savings – all of which can be ploughed back into services for local people. 

The council also reports that the LEDs are more reliable than conventional lighting with a notable reduction in reported faults, which again cost money to repair. In fact, the LED lighting has a life expectancy of 25 years. Requiring less maintenance and consuming less energy, the project is expected to save the council £2.2m per year, based on current energy prices.  

In fact, the benefits have been evident for some time. In 2020, the project won an innovation award for street-lighting services from the Association of Public Sector Excellence (APSE). 

All in all, it’s been a good long-term investment. The team behind the conversion project secured a total of £16.6m in funding, with £14.5m from Salix Finance Limited – the non-departmental body providing government funding to the public sector – and £2.1m from the council itself. 

The project’s final phase was rolled out in Bassetlaw, where some 2,000 sodium lights were replaced. Cllr Neil Clarke MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council, joined the team from Via East Midlands to mark the successful completion of the project. He says: ‘It has been very exciting to see the incredible progress made on the LED streetlight conversion programme over time. 

‘Together with our highways partner, Via East Midlands, we’ve come up with innovative ideas and solutions to tackle the challenges we face, which has resulted in a well-managed and successful streetlight conversion programme. This project fulfils a core part of our pledge to become carbon neutral as an authority by 2030. 

‘I would like to congratulate Via and thank everyone who worked on this project to ensure its resounding success. I look forward to seeing its continued positive impacts in the coming years as we savour the benefits of brighter, more affordable, and more environmentally friendly streetlights.’ 

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Sefton to save £1.8m per year with LED lighting


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