Since the start of a ground-breaking street lighting improvement project six years ago, Hampshire County Council has halved its street light energy consumption – saving enough energy to run the equivalent of 4,500 average family homes for an entire year.
As well as the environmental benefit of energy efficiency, it also offers much better value for taxpayers – with some £1.2 million so far saved on energy costs.
Executive Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Rob Humby said: “Following the completion of our pioneering street lighting project, we are now seeing exactly the result we were aiming for – massive reductions in both the cost and the carbon footprint of lighting Hampshire’s streets.
“As well as the reduction in energy consumption, which has obviously cut our energy bills and our carbon footprint, there has also been a reduction in light pollution and a big saving in carbon tax – around £200,000 per year.
“Using innovative technology has been a big part of this success. We are now managing the world’s largest street lighting remote management system. It’s giving us the flexibility to provide safe, effective lighting where it’s needed, and yet keep energy consumption to a minimum.”
The contract for the South Coast Street Lighting PFI (Private Finance Initiative) was signed in 2009, between Hampshire County Council, West Sussex County Council and Southampton City Council, in a unique partnership, with the work being delivered by SSE Enterprise Contracting. It was the biggest such initiative in the country.
By using more energy efficient lamps, reducing burning hours and dimming lights, the County Council has seen energy consumption drop by more than 50% since 2010, when the lights first began to be installed.
The County Council’s street lighting service, maintained by SSE Enterprise Contracting, uses the Mayflower Central Management System (CMS) technology to regularly monitor the operation of over 147,000 lights and illuminated signs, and control their brightness.
As well as enabling dimming at specific times, the system helps with effective maintenance. Hampshire has been named by the National Highways and Transportation Survey, two years running, as the fastest in the country at repairing broken streetlights.
Head of Mayflower Complete Lighting Control, Patrick Mitchell, said: “The Mayflower Lighting Central Management System provides fantastic control and flexibility for Hampshire County Council. We are extremely proud to have played a part in achieving these significant energy savings and carbon reductions for Hampshire and look forward to continued, and additional innovative collaborative working in the future.”
An SSE Enterprise Contracting spokesperson said: “SSE is proud of its role in helping Hampshire County Council manage its street lighting systems more effectively which has delivered substantial energy, cost and carbon savings. Utilising such innovative techniques as street lights that can self-report when the light is out is part of the service we can provide through the Mayflower street lighting management system. SSE will continue to help the County Council reduce energy consumption even further, where it can.”
For more information on Hampshire’s Street lighting PFI, please visit: www.hants.gov.uk/street-lighting and www.lightsoninhampshire.co.uk