Published: Thursday, 1st July 2021

The Council has secured £11.5 million to replace all its 20,000 traditional street lights with modern LED equivalents – saving £1million a year in energy and maintenance costs.

Thanks to a loan from The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF), the new light-emitting diode lanterns, known as LEDs, will ensure that the borough’s streets are lit to the current modern standards, but they are also highly efficient and environmentally friendly as they concentrate light on where it is needed with less light pollution. Light will be more evenly distributed down the road - making streets feel safer.

Cllr Sarah Merrill, Cabinet Member for Environment, Sustainability and Transport, said:   

“The new LED street light upgrade is a significant piece of work demonstrating our commitment to tackling the climate emergency and reaching our ambitious target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030. We are forecast to save 6,770,589 kWh per year, reducing our street lighting energy consumption by 74per cent and saving around £1million. It will also reduce our CO2 consumption by 2,080 tonnes per year - the equivalent of driving a medium sized car from Greenwich to Edinburgh and back 9,000 times. 

“Not only are the LED lights better for the environment, but they reduce light pollution, deliver best value for money and can make streets feel safer.”  

MEEF has provided competitive and flexible, long-term finance to the Council, enabling it to accelerate the rollout of the streetlighting across the borough. The savings from the energy and maintenance costs will be used in part to repay the loan over a period of 19 years.

Fifteen thousand lantern replacements will be completed in around a year and around 5,000 lamp posts will be replaced over two to three years. The replacements will be done in priority order and as each street is due the Council will write to residents before installation starts.   

The contract to install the lights has been awarded to FM Conway and works will start this summer. 

Find out more about the street light upgrade