Major investment to upgrade 82,000 streetlights to LEDs in Essex

The county of Essex is set to make savings every year as it upgrades teh remaining of its 82,000 streetlights to LED.

Installation of the remaining 82,000 LED lights started in May 2021 in Basildon and Chelmsford and the LEDs will be installed area by area until completion in 2024. Where the ad-hoc replacement of failed sodium units by LEDs are imminent, these will be replaced instead as part of the LED programme. The council has said safety-critical high energy use all-night lights were upgraded first.

Councillor Lee Scott, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, said: “Last year our repair crews attended nearly 38,000 streetlights to fix them, but we are still struggling to keep up. LED streetlights last longer, use less electricity and so provide a better service to us all while saving taxpayers’ money. We have already installed around 45,000 LED streetlights on main roads and now I’m delighted to announce we are investing to replace the remaining 82,000 lights on residential streets.”

He added: “We are making a total investment of £26.8 million (£10.3M of that is an interest-free Government loan) in the project to make savings above the cost of loan repayments from year one. After 25 years we estimate the net savings to the Council will be around £39 million. We may not be able to fix every old sodium type single light that fails immediately, but now there is light at the end of the.. er lamp post.”

LED lights save on average around 60% energy usage, so reducing costs and saving thousands of tons of carbon emissions involved in generating electricity. LED lights contain negligible toxic materials and are expected to last 20 years, whereas half of sodium lamps fail after five years and have to be replaced. LED lights can be dimmed and will be controlled and monitored by the central management system, via improved, longer-lasting “Telecell” radio units.

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