East Dunbartonshire LEDs the way in cutting light pollution

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East Dunbartonshire Council is to become one of the first local authorities in Scotland to switch to LED street lights, saving both money and the environment.

Following successful trials, the council is to begin installing ultra-efficient LED streetlights this spring.

The authority expects to generate savings both on electricity and harmful greenhouse gasses, cutting back on over 1000 tons of harmful Co2 over an eight year period.

It plans to initially convert around 1,200 of the area’s street lights, mostly in residential areas.

Councillor Ashay Ghai, depute leader of the council and convenor of neighbourhood services, said: “This ambitious plan is great news for East Dunbartonshire. As well as saving money in energy costs, these new LED light sources only need to be replaced every 15 or 20 years, rather than around every three years for some conventional lamps.

“There is also an environmental benefit, cutting down on Co2 and there’s also a benefit for people who value dark skies.

“For years now, our towns have been blighted by light pollution, where they appear to glow orange in the night sky.

“The new LED lights give off a white light rather than orange and will direct light towards the ground. This makes an incredible difference. T

“he lights still do their job, but more efficiently and with no orange glow. I am delighted that East Dunbartonshire is forging ahead with this ambitious, environmentally friendly scheme.”

The replacement programme will take place in three phases, firstly replacing around 1,200 lanterns, then over four years around 50 per cent of the current lights will be upgraded. The remaining stock would be looked at in the third phase.

The initial equipment purchase will be funded by an interest-free loan of £251,000 from Salix Finance Ltd, a company which offers finance for local authority energy efficiency schemes.

Councillor Ghai added: “This funding is very welcome, as not only is it interest-free, but we can repay it over eight years. We expect that the savings we make in energy over that period will be enough to cover our repayments, making this a win-win situation.”