Posted: Sat 2nd Dec 2023

Council in Wales Considers Dimming or Turning Off Street Lights to Save Money /
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Dec 2nd, 2023

A council in Wales has discussed turning off or dimming a number of its street lights in the coming months, in order to save money on increasing energy bills.
Council bosses in Neath Port Talbot met to discuss how they could potentially save up to £285,000 each year by dimming a number of street lights in the borough, as well as turning some off completely during the early hours of the morning.
Members at November’s environment, regeneration and streetscene services meeting decided to approve a consultation process with members of the public, to discuss turning off and dimming lights for certain areas in order to tackle energy costs which they say have “increased significantly.”
The report read: “The cost of energy to the council has increased significantly and, despite an above inflationary increase in the funding allocation this year, the current street lighting energy budget of £1.4m is predicted to out-turn £295,000 over budget.
“In addition to this, there is a significant budget gap predicted in the council’s budget next year, which would make any ongoing deficit very difficult to sustain. As such there is a need to consider potential savings strategies to reduce lighting energy costs if required.”
The move could see as many as 10,600 LED lanterns that are installed within the county borough dimmed by up to 25% either all evening or within the small hours, if given approval by the council in the coming months.
Other options could also see some lights turned off altogether in the small hours, or in some areas a combination of both dimming lights and switching them off could be implemented.
Costs within the report indicated that with “part night lighting” being implemented between 1am and 5am it could save the council up to £218,0010 each year, while a combination of part lighting and dimming could save them as much as £285,000 per year.
However, during the scrutiny meeting where the proposals were first discussed, Cllr Robert Wood of Sandfields West said the local authority should do everything it could to keep the lights on instead of turning them off.
He said: “I do not need a consultation to tell me that by switching the lights off or dimming the lights you are not going to increase the residents’ chances of being robbed, raped or run over. This is a case of saving money but costing lives. The council must strive at all costs in its responsibility to keep the lights on and I would urge the cabinet to look at this very carefully.”
Other members also asked that more information be given on which areas could see their lights go off, with officers saying they would include extensive lists of potentially affected streets within the consultation documents. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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