Stirling turns to Green Investment Bank for 16,000 LEDs

Stirling Council looks set to reduce energy consumption in the city by 63% after securing a loan from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), which will see LEDs retrofitted in 12,000 lamps and 4,000 lamposts.

GIB has revealed that it has provided a £9.87m Green Loan to help with the retrofitting process, a move which the council expects will save them £31m over the next 30 years. On top of the financial savings, the council is also expecting to reduce emissions by more than 14,000 tonnes over the course of the four-year project.

Scotland Office Minister Andrew Dunlop said: “This is an excellent initiative and I commend Stirling Council for being part of it.  This scheme will deliver a triple-whammy – safe, brightly-lit streets for Stirling, a long-term cash saving for the council and a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the area.”

Once fitted, the LED lights are expected to produce energy savings equivalent to the total electricity consumed annually by 850 homes. Stirling Council is introducing the initiative after successful adaptations in both Glasgow and Southend on-Sea.

By April 2017, nearly one-third of Scotland’s streets will be LED-lit, as local councils move to invest £56m to funding retrofitting projects that will double the number of LEDs to 250,000 and reduce CO2 emissions by 65,000 tonnes.

GIB – which has issued £2.3 billion to 58 green infrastructure projects with a total value of £10.1 billion – launched the Green Loan for local authorities to reduce streetlight electricity bills by up to 80%. Each loan is set at a fixed-rate with a payback period of 30 years.

GIB’s head of investment banking Edward Northam said: “Replacing its existing streetlights with more efficient and cost effective alternatives will see Stirling Council make immediate budget savings while contributing to the wider movement to decarbonise our economy. There are signs that more and more local authorities are considering the benefits of the spend-to-save approach, with Stirling becoming the third UK council to opt for a Green Loan.”

LED by example

The UK is currently spending around £300m annually to power its seven million streetlights – with fewer than one million lamps fitted with LEDs. The Government would do well to follow in India’s footsteps, which expects to save around $6bn a year once it has completed its 710 million LED bulb retrofit.

The Climate Group has also revealed that a global rollout of LEDs would lead to electricity consumption for lighting reduced by 52%, saving more than 730 million tonnes of CO2 in the process.

Any businesses looking to venture into LED purchases can weigh up the benefits and the risks by reading the edie explains LED lighting guide.  

The Lightbulb moment: Success stories at edie live

Lighting is major source of energy consumption for many businesses and addressing it can drive major reductions in energy use and cost. From May 17-18, Nottingham Trent University’s Daizhong Su will be at edie live to profile energy efficient lighting made from recycled bottles. View the agenda here.

Matt Mace

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