A plan to save £1.8million a year by replacing Stockton’s ageing street lighting stock has been agreed by councillors.
The move will see the Council invest £14million in a three-year programme to replace almost 28,000 lantern bulbs with modern, super efficient LED lighting.
All street lighting columns over 25-years-old – around 8,500 in total – will also be replaced.
The projected annual savings will come from the lower energy bills and reduced maintenance costs associated with the more efficient and reliable LED lighting.
Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: “Like local authorities across the country, we are facing unprecedented financial challenges and are pursuing greater efficiency in everything we do.
“During 2012/13, the energy costs associated with street lighting represented 65 per cent of the Council's overall energy bill so the introduction of the LEDs will really help us dramatically reduce this on-going, long-term expenditure.
“We appreciate that £14million is a significant sum of money but this is a sensible plan to invest over the next three years so we can make lasting, year-on-year savings of around £1.8million.
“That’s £1.8million a year that can then be invested in other services rather than being spent unnecessarily on old, inefficient lighting and the intensive maintenance associated with it.”
Councillor Smith added: “The new LED lights have a longer lifespan so they don’t need to be replaced as often and when they do expire, they are fully recyclable and contain no toxic materials.
“They also generate a better quality of light while using a great deal less energy than the current lantern bulbs. We know that better lighting makes people feel safer so this programme can benefit all of our communities.”
The street lighting replacement programme was agreed by Full Council on Wednesday 26 February as part of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan.
It will be delivered in-house by Stockton Council and will get under way in the summer.