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Torbay Council Street Lighting Upgrade

In 2014, around 19% of Torbay council’s electricity costs were attributed to street lighting. Keen to reduce this due to public sector funding pressures, the council successfully embarked on an ambitious replacement and upgrade project, in partnership with Salix, combining an interest-free loan and money from an existing recycling fund to cover the £515,000 up-front cost.  GE Lighting was awarded the contract to perform the installation following a tender process.

The project demonstrated a flexible approach to both replacing and upgrading a large number of street lights.  Older technology was swapped for highly efficient LED lanterns, using a light colour that aided night time driving.  Upgrading newer lanterns to a white light source allowed Torbay to maintain a safe environment in terms of lighting levels, but with reduced power and a lower upfront cost.

Overall, the council replaced or upgraded over 2000 street lights.  The project is set to achieve the following indicators:

Total scheme cost

£515,338

Annual financing repayment

£47,985

Total annual savings

£104,348

Annual CO2 savings

338 tonnes

Project payback

4.9 years


Project Description

Torbay Council carried out replacement of 961 older high pressure sodium street lights, the majority of which operated at 172 circuit watts, with the GE Spinella LED street light, operating at 61W.  For some of these lanterns, power consumption was able to be reduced to around a third of that used previously.

Street light replacements

Technology

No. units

Circuit-Watts

Average usage (h/week)

Annual Energy use (kWh)

Annual Cost (£)

Magnetic ballast 

375

172

82

273,609

£35,569

Conversion

375

99

79

151,953

£19,754

Magnetic ballast 

29

301

82

37,028

£4,814

Conversion

29

99

79

11,751

£1,528

Electronic 

687

159

82

463,366

£60,238

White light 

687

99

79

278,377

£36,189


Upgrading to White Light

For newer stock, Torbay made upgrades rather than carrying out a full replacement.  Re-profiling the ballasts of 1091 highway lanterns to a white light source allowed lighting levels and power consumption to be lowered without a reduction in the perceived brightness. 

White light sources are able to provide greater facial recognition and increased safety for drivers, even when dimmed at night time.    

Technology

No. units

Circuit-Watts

Average usage (h/week)

Annual Energy use (kWh)

Annual Cost (£)

Magnetic ballast 

375

172

82

273,609

£35,569

Conversion

375

99

79

151,953

£19,754

Magnetic ballast 

29

301

82

37,028

£4,814

Conversion

29

99

79

11,751

£1,528

Electronic 

687

159

82

463,366

£60,238

White light 

687

99

79

278,377

£36,189


Torbay Council were also able to reduce the operational time of each streetlight by 15 minutes per day by 'trimming' (using a different photocell).


Project Feedback

To display the aesthetics of the lighting system, a drone was used to provide an aerial view to allow comparison of the the lighting quality delivered - positive feedback was received from both councillors and the public.

Due to the success of the project, Torbay Council has explored further roll-out of the upgrade into more residential areas, looking to replace conventional 70W sodium lanterns with dimmable LEDs.