Reducing emissions through innovative Street Lighting

With local authorities stepping up to the urgency of limiting their energy use and impact on climate change whilst simultaneously facing funding gaps, Amey has been working to provide opportunities to reduce emissions from street lighting, compliant to British standards for road lighting.

What did we do?

Street lighting is the biggest user of energy for most local authorities. It varies by authority but its one of the few areas where there is a proven solution and payback to help meet carbon reduction targets.

Savings vary, but typically up to 75% of the energy used by high intensity discharge lamps, can be saved by switching to LED streetlighting supported by a central management system (CMS). The system allows lighting levels to be varied as the use of an area changes throughout the hours of darkness, whilst accurately recording the changes in energy use for each streetlight which is on an unmetered supply. The CMS also negates the need for someone to drive around at night looking for outages as it automatically reports any issues. LED street lighting offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly option for motorways, car parks, residential areas, public transport stations and more. In addition, directing only the amount of light that is needed in a concentrated output, has seen a reduction in light pollution particular prevent in urban locations.

Amey was one the first organisations to adopt large-scale LED street lighting and since 2010has installed nearly 250,000 LED lights across the UK. This work creates a more pleasant night time environment, reducing the number and severity of road accidents and reducing the incidence of crime and fear of crime. We have worked with the supply chain partners including Urbis Schreder, Signify, ASD lighting, Telensa, DW Windsor and Thorn to develop cost effective solutions for our clients.

What impact did it have?

Throughout 2020 we made good progress with our programme, installing 34,000 new LED lamps across the UK:

  • Wakefield – In December 2020 Amey secured a major project to install energy efficient LED street lighting for Wakefield Council, over the next three years. Over 44,000 streetlights across the district will be upgraded to LED lights, which will reduce the Council’s street lighting energy consumption by a minimum of 65%. It is estimated that the project will reduce the Council's carbon emissions by a minimum of 3,700 CO2 tonnes equiv.  The lights will be controlled by a Central Management System and technology that use the mobile communication network to send instructions to the lanterns as well as gather information regarding their current condition. The system will automatically identify faults. The works will be funded through an ‘Invest to Save’ approach, with £19.4m being spent on the new technology, which is forecast to pay back in 13 years. In 2020 we retrofitted 1,000 new LED’s. 
  • Norfolk – In 2007 Amey began upgrading and maintaining 50,000 street lights, 12,000 illuminated signs and bollards for Norfolk County Council with the additional responsibility to maintain them for next 25 years.
  • Manchester – in 2017 we started are installing 56,000 new LED luminaires to street lights in Manchester in a three-year contract for Manchester City Council. These replacements will represent a saving of £2 million per year for Manchester City Council and cut emissions by 70,470 CO2 tonnes equiv per year. We are installing a remote monitoring and control system which will allow the Council to better manage its facilities and install smart apps in the future. The remote system will also allow lighting to be adjusted to Council requirements, for example by increasing light intensity to help disperse large crowds after major events. In 2020 we installed the final 10,000 units.
  • Edinburgh – In June 2018 we started a 3 year, £24.5m project working with Edinburgh City Council to upgrade 54,000 existing streetlights are no longer made and can no longer be maintained to LED’s which are more energy efficient, better for the environment and are cheaper to run. They also give off a clearer light and can improve safety. In addition to delivering significant energy reductions of over 60%, this work will help the council to save £54 million energy, maintenance and disposal costs over 20 years. Replacing the old inefficient lanterns will also help the city reduce CO2 emissions to comply with Scottish Government energy-efficiency legislation. In 2020 we installed 15,000 new LED lights.
  • Bradford - in 2020 Amey secured a contract that will provide services to survey the 56,500 street lighting assets, provide design for 53,700 units and replace 48,300 existing street lights with energy efficient LED luminaires, including the replacement of approximately 15,600 expired columns with a further 5,000 columns being modified. We are using the latest innovative solutions, technology and in-house design capabilities to protect the environment by reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions by 65% and reduce ongoing maintenance costs for the client and customers. Installation works will commence in 2021.

"When we rolled out these energy-efficient lights as a pilot project in 2014, they were very well received by local residents, who told us they preferred the crisper, brighter light to the orangey glow of the old, inefficient street lights. We are now planning to roll out energy-efficient street lights to communities right across Edinburgh in a programme that will last until the end of 2020." Council transport convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes

“We have made an important pledge to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030 and this project is a big part of our plans to do so. LED streetlights not only reduce energy consumption and lower carbon emissions but they also reduce operational costs, light pollution and automatically identify the majority of faults so that they are dealt with quickly and more efficiently and provide better quality lighting overall.” Cllr Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highway