New more efficient street lights have saved millions in energy bills and reduced carbon emissions in Nottinghamshire.
So far, Notts County Council has replaced 55,000 of the old and inefficient lanterns – more than half of the 90,000 in Nottinghamshire.
The lamps use considerably less electricity – between 60 and 70 per cent – to create the same amount of light.
In addition, the bulbs last longer, require less maintenance and can be dimmed late at night to save more money.
Because they can be controlled remotely, the lights are kept on full power at accident blackspots, places with CCTV and at places where anti-social behaviour is more likely to happen.
The money to replace the old bulbs comes from interest-free loans from not-for-profit company Salix.
This debt is then repaid over five years, using the money saved from the electricity bills.
Grace Ollivent, performance and quality manager at Via, said before the scheme started in 2012: “Across the county there were different specifications and levels of infrastructure in place, so it was almost a firefighting exercise just to keep the lights on.
“This was at a time when LED lighting was coming onto the market and it was estimated there could be energy savings of 60 to 70 per cent.
“The energy saving team have secured £11.6 million in funding since that period, at no extra cost to Nottinghamshire County Council, because money that would have been spent on the energy bills has instead been spent around the county replacing 55,000 lanterns.”
She also said there was a common misconception they were less bright than the old ‘sodium’ lanterns.
A report presented to the county council’s communities and place review and development committee said: “People will often comment that LEDs leave dark patches, this can be true if the spacing is far apart, but there will be little difference to what was there before.
“As LEDs are brighter, it can make the darker areas appear darker in contrast, yet when measured the dark areas are no different.”