AND FINALLY: How many council managers does it take to change a street lightbulb policy?


News has washed across the Scottish Energy News desk of the struggles faced day and daily by renewable energy innovators trying to improve energy-efficiency of the built environment.

This is one of the key performance indicators / ‘outcomes’ for the Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank  (whose future looks safe even if Scotland votes for Independence later this year – at least according to its UK boss, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey in his recent Declaration of Edinburgh/ Government White Paper on the future of Scotland’s energy)

The Green Investment Bank – and others – is busying trying to encourage local councils (across the UK) to switch to more efficient LED street-lights compared to the traditional bulbs on the grounds that they consume less power,  cost less to run and last longer.

After a series of ‘business reviews’ with one such large local council in the Central Belt, negotiations between the bureaucrats and the external renewable consultants were going swimmingly  – with all the boxes relating to investment criteria, finance, costs-savings, risk-management, eco-policy, equal opportunities, anti-discrimination, safe, sustainable, smarter…etc busily being ticked by the entire Brigade of Town Hall Box-Tickers.

However, the process came to a shuddering halt after the un-named council’s Head of Beaconicity and Bureaucracy said: “But what’ll we do with our road-gritting workers?”

After she explained that the direct labour-force workers who are employed to grit the local roads network in winter, are deployed in summer to change and replace defective, worn-out traditional street lightbulbs, the LED lightbulb proposal proved too costly  – and was dropped.

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