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£10m street lights upgrade brings larger-than-expected savings

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£9.8million street light upgrades across Suffolk are delivering better than expected energy reduction according to early council figures, as the project approaches a quarter of the way.

Suffolk County Council has pumped nearly £10m into upgrading 43,400 street lights countywide to new sustainable LEDs.

More than 10,000 have been upgraded so far, and in a report to December's full council meeting the authority said early data indicated a 76% energy reduction compared with a target 60%.

LED street light (53787797)
LED street light (53787797)

It expects to save more than £1.7m a year in annual electricity costs, as well as delivering benefits in reduced light pollution, lower carbon emissions, lower maintenance costs and providing clearer images for CCTV and speed cameras in those areas.

The scheme is due to be completed by the end of 2022.

Cllr Paul West, Conservative cabinet member for operational highways and flooding, said: “Despite the obvious challenges we have faced since the start of this project, I am extremely happy with the progress being made to replace all county council street lights in Suffolk.

Simon Lee Photography (53787778)
Simon Lee Photography (53787778)

“The project brings many positive changes, with the main one being the reduction in energy use.

"This will go towards Suffolk County Council’s ambitions to become a carbon-neutral organisation by 2030.

"I congratulate the teams involved for their hard work and determination during trying times and look forward to seeing more of the county benefiting from these upgrades.”

As well as upgrading the county council-owned lights, it is also offering upgrades to lights owned by district, town and parish councils.