More than 23,000 sodium street lamps are being replaced across Sunderland with energy saving LEDs.
The work is part of a £6million upgrade by Sunderland City Council and its street lighting service provider Aurora. LEDs (light emitting diodes) are more energy efficient, consume less than half the electricity of older sodium lights, and maintenance costs are lower, say council bosses. They also bring road and community safety benefits by increasing visibility with their ‘white light’. The council expects to generate savings of approximately £800,000 a year from lower bills and less maintenance. Councillor Michael Mordey, the city council’s portfolio holder for City Services, said: “Everyone wants to save money on their energy bills and, given the significant savings we have to make because of continued reductions in Government funding, the City Council is no different. “LED street lights can give us better street lighting and help with significant savings for the council and residents. “As well as financial savings, the new lights can bring other benefits to highway users. “The ‘white light’ makes it easier for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to see and this helps in reducing night time road traffic accidents and the fear of crime. “Work has been made possible with support from Salix an organisation which specialises in providing interest free loans to the public sector for green energy projects. The first installation phase is seeing the conversion of almost half of the city’s street lighting stock over the next 18 months. Conversions are being completed by Aurora and more than 1,000 LEDs are already installed in and around the Easington Lane and Hetton areas. Further details can be found on the website www.auroraltd.com, including some frequently asked questions. Brian Hunter, Aurora’s contract delivery manager, said: “Street lighting technology has developed significantly in recent years, both in terms of performance and efficiency. “It is therefore no surprise that Sunderland City Council is keen to take advantage of the benefits that come with upgrading to LED technology. “We are delighted to be working with the local authority on this project.”