Suffolk County Council is pursuing an ambitious target of becoming the greenest county. To succeed, this aspiration requires a commitment from every individual, community and business in the county. Each will be required to embrace the climate change challenge and work together on a long-term plan to improve the environment.
The council has many exciting projects currently underway. One of the most inspired being led by Electrical Services Manager, Richard Webster, working with a team of colleagues from both within the county street lighting department and also the current term maintenance contractor Carillion. The team needed to find a solution that reduced the carbon emissions, address rising energy costs as well as reducing visits to street lighting units for lamp changes and other maintenance purposes on major arterial routes, where traffic management requirements have been particularly costly and restrictive in nature. One such route within the centre of the county is the A1120 ‘Cedars Link’ on the outskirts of the town of Stowmarket.
After careful consideration, the team chose to switch from traditional street lighting to LED units. The Council has been installing Stela LED street lighting from Indal WRTL in numerous projects relating to smaller roads, footpaths and residential areas since 2009. It felt that their latest Luma LED model was now suitable to be applied to larger, main roads on a fit and forget basis. The proven high energy savings and carbon reduction of the models chosen along with the minimal six year maintenance cycle, contributed strongly to the decision.
To further improve the environmental benefits, Suffolk County Council has introduced a Central Management System (CMS) where lighting units in residential areas, subject to pre-determined criteria, can be switched off remotely between the hours of midnight and 5.30am. The units on more major roads, including this installation, can be dimmed during the night when traffic is much lighter and there are fewer pedestrians.
The council anticipates using this Intelligent Street Lighting will provide substantial savings in their energy bills in the region of £850k per annum.
Suffolk has an ambition to reduce its carbon emissions by 60% by 2025. LED Street Lighting, together with the introduction of part night lighting and dimming through the CMS, has the potential to deliver energy savings resulting in a CO2 reduction of over 4000 tonnes by April 2013. The Cedars Link scheme alone will reduce the energy consumption for that road its energy consumption by around 63% and almost 1000 tonnes of CO2 over a 25 year period will be saved, contributing significantly towards these targets.
Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council Portfolio Holder for Roads, Transport and Planning, commented:
“Introducing the new lighting system across Suffolk has not only helped us to save money and reduce our carbon emissions but has also given us the flexibility to control our own lights, and respond to the local community needs”
Creating the Greenest County was launched in 2007 by John Gummer MP. It is a partnership organisation made up of all local authorities, businesses and the voluntary sector. Since that time the partnership has gathered an impressive momentum and now plays a significant role working with local communities and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and save energy.
Richard Webster remarked:
“We were very impressed with the lighting levels and uniformity achieved for this particular installation. The CMS installation is gathering momentum and 30,000 units have been installed within the last 6 months. The use of both the Luma and Stela products in conjunction with the CMS has enabled us to achieve the dimming requirements and energy saving, and this, coupled with the part night lighting is also enabling us to achieve our carbon reduction target”.
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