Brighton and Hove City Council aims to save more than £200,000 a year by switching to cheaper and more reliable street lights.
About 20,000 lamp posts will be changed to use LED (light-emitting diode) technology as part of a three-year project costing £8 million.
The council’s electricity bill for street lights currently runs to almost £1 million a year. The LED lamps will mean that the bill costs about half as much.
Once the costs of the project are taken into account, the council expects to save more than £200,000 a year.
The “invest to save” project was approved by the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee at Hove Town Hall last night (Thursday 8 December).
Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “This is an extremely exciting project.
“Installing LED lighting across the city and using the columns for other technologies will bring huge benefits to our residents, businesses and visitors.”
The committee was told that a central management system (CMS), controlled by the council, would also be set up as part of the project.
The CMS would allow more accurate switch on and switch off times, with staff being able to brighten and dim the lights as needed.
Maintenance costs would be cheaper, councillors were told, and the central controls could be adapted to help turn Brighton and Hove into a hi-tech “smart city”.
For example, wifi could be added, rubbish and recycling bins could be monitored and so could gullies.
The technology could also tell drivers where to find empty parking spaces and sensors could check air pollution levels.
Councillor Mitchell said: “We will save money by cutting our electricity use and be more environmentally friendly by reducing our energy and carbon footprint by up to 61 per cent.
“Becoming a smart city means everyone will benefit from our use of the latest technologies while well-lit streets help reduce crime and the fear of crime as well as providing a safer night-time street scene.”
She added that if the council took a “do nothing” approach, it would face rising energy and consumption costs while its finances were being cut.
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