Streetlighting can account for as much as 30% of a local authority’s energy consumption and is one of their largest single costs with an electricity bill of more than £300m each year.

Despite this expense, fewer than one million lamps are low energy. To tackle increasing costs, the UKGIB has launched a new loan product, the Green Loan, which has been designed to finance public sector energy efficiency projects, ensuring that repayments are made through savings.

The funding aims to encourage local authorities to switch to low energy lighting as the electricity used by regular UK streetlights produces 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year – equivalent to the electricity consumption of 674,000 households and the emissions of 330,000 cars on the road.

GIB has £3.8bn of funding from the UK Government to help the UK’s economy become “greener and stronger” and sees energy efficiency measures including LED streetlighting at the “heart of a low carbon economy”.

GIB chief executive, Shaun Kingsbury, said: “Bad lighting does not come cheap, it carries an electricity bill which can be cut by up to 80% with a move to low energy, LED lighting. Making the switch saves councils money, increases community safety and dramatically reduces the UK’s carbon footprint.”

Glasgow City Council is to be the first recipient of a Green Loan, supporting the City in its plans to convert its 70,000 streetlights to low energy.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael said: ‪”This is a product of the expert team of the UKGIB in Edinburgh and London working with Glasgow City Council with their understanding of local needs and opportunities.

“I hope that other local authorities will follow Glasgow’s lead and explore how they can work with the UKGIB to improve all our local communities.”

Leigh Stringer

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