TO reduce energy and save money, Gloucestershire County Council is replacing 1,000 aging street lights with new cheaper and greener LED technology.

As part of a new project, street lights coming to the end of their life across five areas of Gloucester and Cheltenham will have the latest LED technology installed, rather than replacing the existing light.

The work will be carried out by the council’s maintenance contractor under its existing agreement to maintain street lighting, meaning there is no additional cost to the tax payer for installing the LED technology.

This is the next step in the county council’s roll out of carbon busting technology – the council has already converted lighting in traffic signals and bollards and introduced part night lighting and dimming in areas where safe to do so.

By the end of this year, it is hoped that 3,000 of the council’s 59,000 street lights will run using LED technology, saving 300 tonnes of carbon a year in energy emissions.

LEDs are more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run - they use less energy and require routine maintenance every three years, rather than the ‘discharge’ lamps, which are maintained annually.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flood, said: “We are making multiple savings here by installing new LED technology on aging street lights at the time when essential replacement is needed.

“LED street lights can use up to 70% less energy than conventional sodium lights and cost less to maintain. They also reduce light pollution and give off a whiter light making it easier to see, so people feel safer.”

The new lights will be linked up to the council’s Central Management System (CMS), which manages, controls and monitors new street lights, allowing the lights to be remotely dimmed or switched off for maintenance purposes. It will also mean that the county council will have a more accurate measurement of energy use which will help to control or reduce energy costs.

The council first trialled 65 LED street lights in Dursley in 2011. This resulted in the conversion of a further 2,000 street lights across Cheltenham and Gloucester in 2012 in those areas where it was not possible to introduce part night lighting or dimming. LED street lights have also been introduced at Arle Court Park and Ride.

Later this year the council will extend the project further, introducing LED technology to an extra 1,500 street lights in six areas of Gloucester and Cheltenham, targeting the least energy efficient street lights.