The Green Investment Bank has agreed to part-fund a streetlight conversion programme for Kent County Council which will see 120,000 traditional streetlights replaced with more efficient alternatives.
UK GIB is providing a £10.2 million to help finance the 40 million programme which will see traditional streetlights throughout Kent replaced with LED alternatives and the installation of a central management system, designed specifically to make the council’s lighting stock more efficient.
Kent County Council estimates that the programme will reduce its annual electricity consumption by as much as 60%, saving as much as £5 million each year.
Matthew Balfour, cabinet member for environment and transport at Kent County Council, revealed that since work started on the project in March residential areas had been prioritised. Street lights in town centres and main roads will follow next year.
“By embracing LED lighting in one of the largest projects of its kind in the UK we can make significant savings to our electricity bill and cut our carbon footprint. We are extremely grateful to GIB for the loan which will allow us to continue this ambitious project,” Balfour added.
Infrastructure contractor Bouygues Energies & Services has been awarded the tender for the project, and work is expected to complete in mid-2019.
Edward Northam, head of investment banking at GIB, said that switching to low-energy streetlighting was a proven method to help reduced energy demand and costs.
“By embarking on this ambitious project, Kent County Council has joined a growing number of public sector organisations that are focusing on energy efficiency as they manage their economic and environmental responsibilities,” he added.