Huge financial savings and emission reductions can still be made by switching to LED street lighting according to a report commissioned by the UK Lighting & Technology Board.
Its State of the Nation report from its 2020 Streetlighting survey revealed that while there remains a ‘significant opportunity’ for local authorities to capture the benefits of implementing an LED lantern replacement programme, progress across the UK has been varied.
The UK Lighting & Technology Board has obtained the latest thinking from its development of numerous business cases and discussions across many local authorities, and has identified some of the key barriers and reasons for lack of progress:
• Resource constraints within local authorities – the casualisation, outsourcing and contracting-out of roles and responsibilities, as well as rationalisation of roles through retirement or redundancy has seen the specialist skills of streetlighting engineers disappear from certain local authorities and so removed the awareness of this opportunity, or
the skills to hand to deliver it
• Lack of full skill set to create and deliver a business case – development of a business case requires combinations of various skill sets that include financing, technical, design, as well as procurement and again skills gaps can inhibit the creation and delivery of a robust business case
• Removal of centrally provided support –Streetlighting programmes supported by governments in Scotland and England through BEIS and Local Partnerships have largely been removed and this has resulted in fewer projects being developed. For instance, in 2018 Scottish Government removed direct project support and subsequently the rate of annual
LED conversions has fallen by 30% with 6 councils not undertaking any conversions and a further five with less than 5% conversions annually. No new business cases have been created since this support was withdrawn.
The report said: “The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a devastating impact on the UK wide economy, and as we approach the end of 2020, there would seem to be no better time to re-invigorate, drive forward
and accelerate the replacement of the remaining lanterns in the UK with LED equivalents. It would create a win-win situation for local authorities and their communities.”
To read the full report, click here: sotn-report.pdf (thehea.org.uk)