Village near Wellingborough goes green with street lighting

The new street lights.
The new street lights.

A parish council near Wellingborough is set to save thousands and significantly reduce its carbon footprint after investing in a £9,500 LED street lighting upgrade.

Grendon Parish Council could save more than £970 a year on its energy bills after the modernisation of street lighting stock across the parish.

Around 34 outdated mercury lanterns were replaced with highly efficient light emitting diode (LED).

The upgrades, which are six times more efficient than the previous units, will significantly reduce the council’s energy consumption, lowering its annual electricity usage by an estimated 9,431 kWh, equating to almost 70 per cent.

As well as the financial savings made from lower energy bills, the upgrades also have the added benefit of reduced general maintenance costs and will provide brighter and clearer lighting to footpaths in the region, bringing tangible benefits to residents.

The switch will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, making annual carbon savings of approximately 424 tonnes of CO2e, in line with the council’s emissions reductions targets.

While the existing lights run a wattage of 94 W, the new LED fittings have a wattage of between 37-26W, reducing the amount of energy used without compromising on the quality of lighting output provided.

The council was able to make the improvements after a £4,800 interest-free loan from Salix Finance, an independent, government-funded organisation that provides interest-free funding to public sector organisations to help them reduce their carbon emissions whilst reducing their energy spend.

Ian Denton, chairman of Grendon Parish Council, said: “This project has had a fantastic impact for both the council and the borough as a whole.

“It has been a win-win situation for all - not only have residents benefited from better lighting of the footpaths within the village, but the funding from Salix and the resulting savings achieved have also meant that the council has not had to dip into reserves.

“This has allowed us to continue to channel resources into supporting local clubs and associations, along with enhancing the environment of the village.

“Upgrading our street lighting has been a great success for us.

“I would urge any other parish councils who are looking into financing the upgrading of street lighting to certainly consider Salix Finance as a source of appropriate funding.”

The funding from Salix part-financed the £9,500 programme, covering more than half of the total project cost, providing Grendon Parish Council with the financial capital to be able to undertake the scheme.

The Salix loan will be paid back over the course of five years from the savings recouped from the reduced energy bills.

Once the council has paid off the loan, it will be able to reinvest the savings in other areas.