How local authorities can make truly compelling savings with estate-wide lighting upgrades

At Connected Light, we’re delighted to see the shift in local authorities that places energy efficiency as a major priority.

After all, the public sector is tasked by Government to deliver ever greener services, with sustainability a core objective.

Every council can benefit, and each one should consider; what are the drivers behind energy efficiency for councils. Why should lighting be a serious contender above other potential upgrades?

And with all these questions, Connected Light can help.

The drivers and the path to sustainable council services

We have proof of the impressive benefits possible; it comes from South Gloucestershire Council, which has ambitions to upgrade its estate-wide lighting to LED.

One of its latest projects, achieved with the help of our team at Connected Light, saw the replacement of fluorescent-based lighting systems with LEDs in some 40 subways.

Mark Williams, Street Lighting Supervisor, explains: “The regular programme of works we had in motion to replace failing lamps was virtually a full time job for one of my team, in addition we were responding to a number of reactive call outs.

“I wanted to find a cost-effective LED upgrade solution that would not only save energy but significantly reduce our maintenance costs.”

Remarkably, the Council is now on course to enjoy 79% energy savings for these spaces, with a payback period of less than two years.

This positive energy-saving story illustrates the impressive financial wins available. And South Gloucestershire is not the only council getting up to speed.

How to extend the wins on larger council estates

But what’s really interesting is how to extend the wins available to cover larger and larger portions of council estates.

One option is Salix funding; a very handy public sector energy efficiency pot. You can examine the details of Salix’s available schemes for local authorities here.

But determination to reach for the skies is key. Bristol City Council is one of the most ambitious UK authorities.

With a long-term strategy to make the whole city carbon-neutral by 2050, the Council is also keen to make all council buildings dependant on renewables by 2020.

And with lighting excellence in mind, Bristol recently scored on lighting upgrades, with high-efficiency LED-based systems in a trio of its primary locations.

Securing finance

Working with us, the Council helped secure finance for the project via the Salix recycling fund. The lights were installed by the end of 2016, completed to schedule in each case.

Tony Ludlow, Founding Director here Connected Light, was delighted, saying the results: “Underline the extent to which LED lighting can transform the aesthetic and energy-reduction potential of public buildings in the UK.”

Just one of the fit-outs delivered £450 annual energy savings and a lifetime reduction of nearly £10,000. Savings like these indicate the fantastic results when authorities aim high.

Making retrofit count

The direction of travel is plain; sustainability is on the public agenda. The only question remaining is how councils can roll out LED retrofits more widely.

Economies of scale, the best finance sources and willingness among Council members to push for the highest goals are key.

But most crucial will always be cost and payback. Use economies of scale to lower costs, plan in work well in advance, and strive for the very best you can achieve.

Connected Light is delighted to advise councils on the best pathways to LED retrofit and on pathways to securing Salix Finance for energy upgrades.

Contact us today.