Across the UK, seven million streetlights clock up an electricity bill of more than £300 million each year. Although this is one of the largest single costs for local authorities, fewer than 1in 7 street lamps are low energy.
But help is now available for councils across the UK to make the switch to low energy streetlights with the launch of a new Green Loan from the Edinburgh-based UK Green Investment Bank (GIB).
The new product from GIB offers UK local authorities a low, fixed rate loan over a period of up to 20 years. The Green Loan has been specifically designed to finance public sector energy efficiency projects, ensuring that repayments are made from within savings. The product can also include a development loan to help councils with the costs of progressing their plans.
GIB is now working with Glasgow Council to be the first recipient of a Green Loan, supporting the city in its plans to convert its 70,000 streetlights to low energy.
UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable – a former Liberal councillor in Glasgow – said: “The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is leading the way in the green revolution.
“Street lighting across Britain tends to be very costly and energy inefficient, emitting the same amount of carbon dioxide each year as a quarter of a million cars on the road. This investment by GIB into new LED technology could make big strides in saving money for local councils and reducing our carbon footprint.
“I urge councils across the country to follow Glasgow Council’s lead and GIB’s new Green Loan can help speed up the take up of this streetlighting.”
Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael added: “I am absolutely delighted that Glasgow is leading by example in its drive to become a greener, smarter city, and that the UK Green Investment Bank – headquartered in Edinburgh and funded by £3.8bn of UK Government money – is playing such a positive role in supporting it.”
Council which switch to low energy streetlights will have a short payback period on their investment – as early as five years – after which they will benefit in a reduction in their electricity bill of up to 80%.
Streetlighting can account for as much as 30% of a local authority’s energy consumption.