Fife councillors have agreed a new funding package which will allow energy-saving variable lighting technology in to be introduced in all Fife’s street lights, reports GAIL MILNE.
The Light Fife Green street lighting policy was approved in August last year, when Councillors agreed that any lighting columns due for replacement should be upgraded with aluminium columns with variable lighting technology.
Last year, this replacement programme led to 1,274 street lights being upgraded at a cost of £3million.
Since then, council officers have found a way to fund the installation of energy-saving lamps and variable lighting in street light columns that are not due for renewal (70% of the network). This will be funded by reinvesting the savings that will be made from reducing our electricity use. The six year ‘spend to save’ project will begin in April 2012. This means that by 2017 over 70% of Fife’s street lights will have been upgraded to new, brighter and energy-saving lamps.
Electricity costs have increased dramatically in recent years and powering Fife’s 61,000 street lights cost the council over £2million in 2011/12. By switching to energy-saving, variable lighting systems Fife’s street lighting bill will be reduced by around 30 per cent a year. This will also significantly reduce carbon emissions and help Fife Council achieve its aim of being the leading green council in Scotland.
Councillor Ross Vettraino, vice-chair of the environment, enterprise and transportation committee, told Fifetoday: “The new street lighting has been welcomed by everyone in the streets in which it has already been introduced. By redistributing the existing funding and re-investing the savings in electricity costs, the Council can upgrade all of Fife’s street lights to the new standard at no extra cost. This is just one of the many smarter ways of working that are being implemented by the council, as it tries to cope with the current difficult economic situation.”