Council’s street lighting team set a shining example in reducing carbon footprint

Over half of street lighting in Somerset is now eco-friendly and playing an important role helping the county work towards its 2030 carbon neutral target.

Somerset County Council’s Highway Lighting Team has started to reduce its carbon footprint in the past five years thanks to the installation of LED lanterns in 56 per cent of street lighting stock. It means they’ve made a reduction of over 6,200 tonnes of Co2 in that time.

In November 2020, all five councils in Somerset gave the green light to implement a plan for Somerset to go carbon neutral by 2030.

The Somerset-wide Climate Emergency Strategy – Towards a Climate Resilient Somerset – considers how climate change will impact Somerset and describes what we need to do to cut our emissions and build resilience to risks that may arise.

The LED replacements have seen a reduction in the carbon produced per year, down from 9,522 tonnes in 2015/16 to 3,278 tonnes in 2020/21: a reduction of 6,244 tonnes of Co2.

This would be approximately equivalent to the Co2 created by:

  • 3,784 return economy flights from London to New York.
  • 2,304 average diesel cars covering 10,000 miles per year.

This has also reduced the Council’s annual energy consumption from 20,601,977 Kilowatt hours in 2015/16 down to 14,061,520 Kilowatt hours in 2020/21, resulting in a 31.75 per cent Energy Saving.

In addition, it’s estimated the new lights are currently saving £950,000 this year on the Council’s energy bills.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, added: “Investing in more efficient lighting systems means we’re contributing to reducing carbon emissions and saving money on running costs for many years to come.

“Somerset County Council is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and energy consumption to ensure we keep working towards the 2030 commitment whilst providing an economic, safe and sustainable way of illuminating our towns and villages.”