Wakefield Council has successfully concluded a three-year initiative to transition over 44,000 streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs. In the fiscal year 2023-24 alone, these lights have contributed to a reduction of no less than £6 million in the Council’s energy expenses. On average, the monthly cost of powering streetlights in the Wakefield district is approximately £250,000. However, in the absence of LEDs, this cost would escalate to nearly £750,000 per month.

Cllr Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, said: “The LED streetlighting programme is a great example of how the Council is investing in new technology to save money and develop our infrastructure so it’s fit for the future.

“It will be completed ahead of schedule and save even more money and energy than expected.”

The new streetlights have also achieved an energy consumption reduction of over 80%, surpassing the projected 65% reduction at the program’s commencement. Carbon emissions have plummeted to less than a quarter of their levels three years prior, resulting in savings of over 4,000 tonnes of carbon annually. This progress will propel the Council closer to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030.

A collaboration between Wakefield Council and Amey, the project has incurred a cost of £21 million, which is anticipated to be recouped within a decade. State-of-the-art LED lanterns have been installed onto existing streetlight columns, while lanterns with historical or heritage aesthetics have been replaced with LED versions that closely resemble the original design.

The project has also introduced a new central management system, enabling the network to be controlled centrally rather than individually addressing each column. This system transmits information back, allowing for swift identification and repair of any faults. The LED lanterns necessitate less maintenance as they do not require bulb replacements.

Furthermore, the lanterns are adaptable to incorporate forward-thinking ‘smart’ initiatives such as sensors, which could be of assistance to other Council teams by providing them with insights into the road network. The neutral, white light emitted by LEDs enhances visibility of road markings and signs, while also improving clarity in CCTV footage.