a £5m scheme to replace the region’s street lights with more cost-effective lighting is being seen as a ‘spend to save’ project by Scottish Borders Council.
After their environment and infrastructure committee received a presentation outlining the current costs and arrangements for street lighting and how savings might be achieved through the use of new fluorescent and LED lights councillors agreed that a detailed business case should be developed to see what savings would be made using the new flourescent and LED lights which use less money and have a longer life.
SBC’s street lighting section currently manages 19,000 street lights, 1,157 illuminated road signs and 30 traffic light arrangements. Around half of the cost of running traditional, low and high pressure sodium lamps is in the electricity needed to power these units.
Councillor Gordon Edgar, executive member for roads and infrastructure, welcomed the development of a detailed business case.
He said: “Several other councils are taking forward investment in this new technology and I welcome the progress the street lighting section at the council is making to develop plans to invest in our street lighting asset in the Borders through the use of more technologically advanced lighting.
“It is important that the council investigates alternative ways of providing its services and this ‘spend to save’ project shows benefits through reduced energy, routine maintenance costs, and future carbon taxation which, when set against the cost of investment, demonstrates that the investment should be paid back within eight years.”
In 2010 the council spent £563,700 on electricity for street lights in 2010/11 and £334,142 on maintenance and repairs.