Mass LED streetlight switch could save councils £200 million per year combined

  • Mass switch to LEDs could save UK’s councils £200 million per year

  • 600,000 tonnes of carbon could be also be saved

New figures produced by climate charity 10:10 show a mass switch to LED streetlights could save the UK’s councils over £200 million per year combined.

The figures, compiled by energy expert Chris Goodall using data from a series of councils across the UK, put into clear detail the benefits of making the switch to the more efficient lighting. As well as saving councils £200 million a year, we could save over 600,000 tonnes of carbon a year, the equivalent of removing 400,000 cars from the road.

Compared to conventional bulbs which have to be replaced after 4-6 years, LEDs can last for over 20 years, reducing waste and saving time and money on maintenance. Compared to conventional street lighting, LEDs have demonstrated energy savings of up to 50-70%. This can rise as high as 80% when combined with smart sensors and controls.

Whilst the benefits of LEDs have been known for a while, councils have been slow to switch. By 2014, only 10% of councils had switched to LED streetlights, with the most recent estimate suggesting this has only increased to 20%. 10:10 Climate Action are asking voters to speed up the process, and call on their councils to switch their streetlights to LEDs within five years.

Neil Jones, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action said:

These figures show just how bright an idea LED switching is. In these tough financial times £200 million per year is a huge amount - that’s the same as providing nearly 500,000 pupils with free school meals each year. And coupled with clear environmental benefits it becomes a no brainer. That’s why we’re calling on councils to take up the pledge to switch to greener, cheaper LED street lighting by 2022.

Chris Goodall, leading researcher into new energy technologies, said:

As these figures show, the case for switching to LED is clear. It means more money for councils, less carbon in our atmosphere as well as safer, better lit streets. The time has never been better to get behind the LED revolution.

 

Ends

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, daniel.jones@1010uk.org 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings people together to take practical action on climate change http://1010uk.org/.

  • The full estimated savings calculated by Chris Goodall amount to £204,984,000 a year across all councils. This figure was calculated by taking an average of the savings from a 100% conversion to LED streetlights for five councils that are representative of the spread across the UK. The average saving, which is estimated to be 60%, was then applied to the current lighting bill for non-LEDs, £341,640,000, giving us the figure £204,984,000 saved per year.

  • The full carbon saving was calculated as 614,952. This was calculated by dividing the cost saving of £204,984,000 by the estimated current cost per kWh (0.1), to give 2.04984 TWh (which is about 0.6% of the total UK power). This figure was then multiplied by 300 g/kWh (the carbon content of Grid) to get 614,952 tonnes per year carbon savings from a full switch

  • £204,984,000 is the equivalent of providing free school meals for 469,071 children per year. Each meal for a child costs £2.30 and students take 190 meals over an academic year, providing £437 per child per year2. Therefore, £204,984,000 divided by £437 provides free school meals for additional 469,071 children each year. School meals figures can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-funding-allocations-2017-to-2018/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-conditions-of-grant-2017-to-2018

  • The saving of  over 614,952 tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to 401,929 cars, based on the average amount of CO2 produced per kilometre for new cars in the UK (120.1g), multiplied by the average number of kilometres driven (12,714km).

  • The comparative life length of LEDs and conventional bulbs can be found here: https://www.localgov.co.uk/What-does-2017-hold-for-lighting/42764

  • Figures on the comparative efficiency of LEDs can be found here: https://www.theclimategroup.org/project/lightsavers

  • The figure that only 10% of councils had switched to LEDs by 2014 comes from the Green Investment Bank’s market report. http://greeninvestmentgroup.com/media/5243/gib-market-report-low-energy-streetlighting-feb-2014-final.pdf