Street Lighting Energy Reduction Project

By switching more than 44,000 street lights to LEDs, Wakefield Council is saving money and reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

Why do we need the Street Lighting Energy Reduction Project

  • Carbon Reduction – the Council declared a climate emergency in May 2019. We have pledged to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2038 at the latest for those emissions that are under our direct control. Reducing the amount of energy used in street lighting is one of the identified projects to achieving this goal.
  • Rising Energy Costs – the cost of energy for providing street lighting has risen 37% over the last 5 years, compared to 16% in the five years before that, more than £1.2m since 2011.  This is mainly due to increased tariffs and charges placing extra demands on the Council's budget
  • Operational Improvements – technology has improved rapidly in recent years and the technology within the new street lights and the system that gathers information from them lets us provide a smarter and more efficient service.

What is it?

  • It is a variation to the existing contract where street lighting in the Wakefield District is provided by a partnership between the Council, Amey Highways Lighting (Wakefield) Ltd and Amey LG Ltd.
  • It is the conversion of existing lanterns to a neutral white light LED lantern based on a design process to ensure that the current requirements of the British Standard (BS5489) are met. No lighting columns will be moved as the new LED lanterns will be fitted on the existing street lighting column locations and the old lantern removed.

  • It is the installation of a Central Management System to allow gathering of information about the lantern's status and condition to improve the repair and maintenance processes.
  • It's a way to "future proof" any changes in the required lighting standards by being able to amend them using the Central Management System rather than visiting every one of the  40,000+ street lighting columns.

  • It provides a platform to bring in "Smart" lighting initiatives such as temperature sensors, drainage / water course sensors, footfall counters, etc. The aim of which is to assist colleagues in other Council teams by providing additional information about what is happening on the highway network across the district.

How much does it cost?

  • The total cost for the project is £19.4m which the Council is borrowing at a preferential and reduced rate of interest. This funding is entirely separate to the normal Council day to day running costs for providing its services.
  • The project will repay all of the set-up and installation costs in around 13 years.

How much does it save?

  • The target is to save 65% or more of the current energy consumption for providing street lighting.
  • It saves a minimum of 3,700 tonnes of carbon per year based on current information.

  • The estimated saving in energy payments is £36m at today's prices (based on 100,000-hour (24-year) life of each lantern)
  • The adoption of the Central Management System and LED lanterns  allows operational improvements that will save around an additional £2m before the end of the PFI contract in 2029 by reducing the requirement to physically visit columns for inspection and maintenance


Where and when will it take place?

  • Some early preparation works will take place in December 2020.
  • The main works programme will commence in January 2021.
  • The conversion works are expected to take 36 months to complete.
  • The anticipated roll-out across the District is shown on the attached LED Outline Programme. This will be updated as works progress.

Frequently asked questions

Help us improve

Select how useful the page is
Back to top