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Energy Saving Measures Could Light The Way For Council

21st March 2009

Research by Highland Council lighting experts has shown that potential energy savings could be achieved over time by converting street lighting in the Highlands from existing sodium lanterns to white light lanterns with dimming facilities.

A desk top exercise was carried out by the Council's TEC Services on a typical residential housing area with 160, 6 metre high lighting columns fitted with 100w high pressure sodium lanterns. Calculations showed that converting the 100w sodium lanterns to 60w white light units and introducing pre-timed dimming switches would allow the lanterns to be dimmed by 25% during 1am and 5am when traffic and pedestrian activity is low.

Members of the Council's TEC Services committee were informed by Sam MacNaughton, Highland Council's Head of Transport and Infrastructure that the cost of converting existing street lighting equipment to white light with dimming in the exercise would be estimated at 45,000 with an annual saving of 35,000Kwh, approximately 50% saving in energy consumption. This would equate to annual savings of 4,200 and 18.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Mr MacNaughton concluded that converting high pressure sodium lanterns to white light with dimming would reduce energy consumption and, at current prices, provide a payback period of 11 years for the initial installation costs.

Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council's TEC Services Committee said: "This is an excellent piece of work carried out by our Lighting Manager, Andrew Matheson. In addition to looking at opportunities to convert existing sodium street lighting to white lanterns it is important that we ensure that all new housing developments include this more energy efficient type of lighting in their construction."

Committee members agreed that the option to convert high pressure sodium lanterns to white light with dimming will be considered as part of the investment strategy within the Council's capital programme.

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