Scottish Borders Council

Cost-efficient street lighting plans for the Borders

Published on Tuesday 19th February 2013

LED street light

Plans agreed to improve technology and save money.

Our Environment and Infrastructure Committee has agreed that a detailed business case should be developed to deliver more cost-efficient street lighting in the Borders.

The committee received a presentation outlining the current costs and arrangements for street lighting and how savings might be achieved through the use of new fluorescent and LED lights.

Benefits of new street lighting

Our street lighting section currently manages:

  • 19,000 street lights,
  • 1,157 illuminated road signs and
  • 30 traffic light arrangements. 

Around half of the cost of running traditional, low and high pressure sodium lamps is in the electricity needed to power these units.

The lights using new technology:

  • save money - because they use much less power and
  • have a longer life and so need to be changed less often - traditional street lights have a typical lamp life of four years, while the newly developed lamps are much more efficient and long lasting with a lamp life of 80,000 burning hours or 20 years.

The committee also noted that using less electricity for street lighting also considerably reduces future carbon taxation on the Council, adding to future savings made via the new fluorescent and LED lamps.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, welcomed the development of a detailed business case. He said: "It is important that the Council investigates alternative ways of providing its services and this 'spend to save' project shows benefits through reduced energy, routine maintenance costs, and future carbon taxation which, when set against the cost of investment, demonstrates that the investment should be paid back within eight years."

Developing the plan

The outline business case on the proposed improvements to the Council's street lighting asset formed part of the Council's Capital Financial Plan, which was approved by Council on 7 February.

The Environment and Infrastructure Committee agreed on 14 February that the outline business case be further developed and risk assessed to produce a detailed business case for further consideration.


Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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