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Street lighting programme accelerating to deliver massive benefits

A street lighting replacement programme aimed at giving Scotland’s councils the power to save £1.2bn in energy costs is gaining greater momentum as nearly 30% of Scotland’s 900,000 street lights have been converted to energy-efficient LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).

Following the launch of the Scottish Futures Trust’s (SFT) Street Lighting Toolkit in 2015, Scotland’s councils have embraced the energy efficiency and low carbon initiative and invested over £138m in LED lanterns and new lamp posts. A further £200m is expected to be invested over the next four years.

The award-winning toolkit has been designed to allow local authorities calculate exactly how short the payback period will be using savings generated from installing the energy-efficient LED street lights. The toolkit also works out how many tonnes of CO2 will be saved.

Lindsay McGregor, associate director at SFT and who leads the street lighting programme, explained: "The savings to a council start immediately the LEDs are installed as they use 50% less energy and last six times longer than old-fashioned yellow sodium lamps.

"Last year 120,000 LEDs were installed (equivalent to over 2,300 a week) which brought the total number of LED street lights fitted across Scotland to 250,000. They have saved councils £22m in energy and maintenance costs, with that figure increasing each year as more savings are generated. The environment has also benefited from the programme with 70,000 fewer tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere.”

"Over half of Scotland’s 32 councils have secured full funding to buy and install LED lanterns and we are working with the remainder to speed up their investment programme so they can realise savings earlier and take the opportunity to share the predicted £1.2bn savings over the next 20 years."

Over 250 organisations have requested the SFT Street Lighting Toolkit, many of them coming from abroad, some as far afield as Brazil, Mongolia, New Delhi, Japan and Israel.

SFT’s street lighting programme is funded by Scottish Government.