We are implementing part-night lighting across the whole of Suffolk, with the primary objective of reducing our energy consumption, saving both costs and carbon.
By 2025, Suffolk aims to achieve a 60% reduction in CO2. Introducing the system has the potential to deliver significant street lighting energy savings and a CO2 reduction by April 2013. However significant progress must be made in order to meet the immediate target of 4% per annum reduction in CO2 emissions, resulting from the council’s operations. Implementing the system will also save the council at least £550,000 per year in energy costs. This figure will increase as energy prices increase (as is predicted).
The ‘Telensa’ intelligent lighting system provides computer-based communication with individual street lights. It allows part-night operation, dimming (subject to lamp type), trimming (fine tuning to save a few more minutes around dawn and dusk depending upon actual light levels), remote monitoring and, critically, has fully adjustable settings. This allows us to change settings for different days of the week, take account of British Summertime, or set to stay on for longer e.g. for events or at Christmas and New Year.
All units 6 metres in height and below are switched off between the hours of midnight and 5:30am, with consideration given to the criteria below:
- lights at major junctions/roundabouts;
- in town centres with CCTV, high security businesses e.g. banks, areas of high night time pedestrian usage for example near nightclubs and train stations, outside community facilities or leisure centres;
- areas where street lights are needed to reduce road accidents;
- areas where there could be an increase in crime through reduced lighting, e.g. pubs and specific residential areas;
- remote alleys linking residential streets;
- near pedestrian crossings, footbridges, subways;
- in public car parks;
- at bus stops;
- at level crossings, speed humps and traffic lights;
- where there is sheltered housing for the elderly.
For information on where we have already implemented part-night lighting, please go to our "Street lights in my area" page on this website.
We have received a number of requests from residents in those areas already subjected to part-night lighting to turn lights back on and in some instances, and in consultation with the local councillors and the Police, we have reversed the original decision. Generally these decisions have been made where there is sheltered housing or where the police have surveillance operations in progress; in the latter cases the lights will revert to part-night lighting once the police have completed their operations. We have also extended the time before lights are switched off on a few routes from town centres into residential areas, but only on the busiest nights, for example Friday and Saturday nights.
One of the concerns expressed by the public during consultation is the potential impact on crime when the street lights are turned off, and more specifically the fear of crime. Encouragingly, our 'before and after' monitoring is showing no increase in crime, and in some areas a decrease, although we recognise that this is over a relatively short period of time and is dependent on seasonal variations. An ‘out-of –hours’ number has been given to the emergency services in order that they can request lights to be turned back on immediately if required.