Surrey spends £20m on a new lighting strategy to save £2m a year

When Surrey County Council agreed its Climate Change Strategy it pledged to do its bit towards becoming carbon neutral.

Now it is switching Surrey’s 89,000 Street Lights to LED Costs £20m to Save £2m a Year. This includes lighting up Waverley.

Surrey’s Community Vision for 2030 contains the ambition that:

“Residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities”

This ambition reflects the shared ambition of Surrey’s 12 local authorities that our residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities.

In support of this ambition – and the UK’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – on 9 July 2019 the council declared a ‘climate emergency’ and committed to working with partners to agree Surrey’s collective response.

 SCC has published its Climate Change Strategy and a New Tree Strategy which establishes the approach for how Surrey’s local authorities and other partners will work together to put the county on the path to net-zero carbon emissions and strengthen climate resilience.  It believes success lies in everyone taking action to shift behaviour and to live more sustainable lives to help safeguard our communities and the environment.

The WW wonders if this includes protecting the countryside from the Oil and Gas exploration planned by UK Oil and Gas on a Waverley borough site in Dunsfold? A scheme strongly opposed by ‘Your Waverley.’

An application which was refused earlier in the year, but which now has to be reconsidered. Link: UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now? Surrey Dummies forced to do a Dun – re-run!

The Climate Change Strategy will work in conjunction with a number of existing strategies, as well as borough and district action plans, like the Surrey Place Ambition 2050 (PDF) and the Community Vision for Surrey 2030.

The consultation on Waverley’s Climate Change Strategy Action Plan has just ended with a good response according to the portfolio holder Steve Williams. Comments on the plan are now being analysed. However, early signs are: that residents believe the council’s efforts to tackle the climate emergency is important, and that the council should lead by example.

Cllr Matt Furniss and Skanska’s Simon Woodford, pictured before social distancing measures were in place

Surrey’s conversion of all Surrey’s 89,000 street lights to energy-efficient LEDs has begun in Guildford borough. Lights in Waverley and Surrey Heath will follow in the three-year rolling programme.

Currently keeping the lights on cost the county £3.8 million a year. LED ones will save £2 million a year, based on current prices and last 20 years, six times longer than traditional bulbs. If energy prices rise, the saving will be even greater.

County Cllr Matt Furniss (Con, Shalford), the cabinet member for transport, said:

“LED lights demonstrate our commitment to reducing our energy consumption. As well as supporting our aim of being net carbon zero by 2050, the reduced costs also benefit the taxpayer.

“The lights will be warm white, designed to direct the light more on to the highway so they’ll be less intrusive into people’s homes and gardens.”



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