First payment under new Streetlights Scheme

20 Mar 2024

Image of councillors standing near a streetlight in Mildenhall

In a bid to enhance energy efficiency and embrace sustainable practices, West Suffolk Council has made the first payment to help town and parish councils with the cost of rapidly converting streetlights to more efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lanterns using its new Decarbonisation Initiatives Fund. The scheme also covers the retrospective cost of any conversions carried out by councils since April 2022.

The scheme’s main objective is to accelerate the environmental upgrade of streetlights that are owned by town and parish councils, therefore matching those owned by West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council that are already in the process of being changed.

Changing the lanterns to LED marks a significant step towards reducing energy consumption and costs, lowering carbon emissions, and creating a more sustainable future for the community. The transition to LED streetlights through the scheme is expected to reduce the town and parish councils’ energy consumption by at least 70 per cent and save up to 75 metric tonnes of CO2 per year.

As the first of many councils to benefit from the scheme, Mildenhall High Town Council took the step of upgrading its streetlights in 2023. Their grant of £92,760 has now been released and covers the cost of converting 480 streetlights.

West Suffolk Council is now in the process of completing grant agreements with other eligible towns and parish councils with the aim of all council-owned streetlights in West Suffolk being LED by 2025.

Cllr Gerald Kelly, Cabinet Member for Governance and Regulatory, said: “The conversion of streetlights to LED fittings underscores our dedication to building a more sustainable and environmentally resilient community by working in partnership with parish and town councils."

Cllr David Taylor, Cabinet Member for Operations, said: “The transition to LED streetlights aligns with our broader sustainability goals and commitment to combatting climate change. LED technology offers numerous advantages over traditional lighting solutions, including greater energy efficiency, longer lifespan, and increased illumination quality and control.”

Cllr Ian Shipp, Mildenhall Mayor and ward member for Mildenhall Kingsway & Market on West Suffolk Council, said: “With the conversion to LED streetlights, we embrace not only a brighter tomorrow but a safer, more sustainable one. By illuminating our pathways with energy-efficient technology, we're not just saving on costs; we're investing in the safety and well-being of every member of our community.”

For more information about the LED streetlight conversion project and West Suffolk Council’s wider sustainability initiatives, please visit: Council approves plans for change of pace on climate change action.

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