BRIGHT sparks at St Helens Council have approved plans to reduce the cost of street lighting by more than £200,000 a year.
Town Hall cabinet members have given the go-ahead to a £1.7m scheme aimed at replacing street lights with new “white light” energy efficient bulbs and using more low energy LED units.
The lighting of some non-essential signs will also be removed and more reflective road signs will be used.
Improvements are also planned in the lighting of town centre car parks.
The council currently operates 23,500 street lights and the energy consumption costs have risen from £457,875 in 2002/3 to £1.3m last year.
It is estimated that the project will help to save the council £212,000 a year.
St Helens Council is already leading an award-winning partnership with three councils on the continent aimed at reducing street lighting costs and the borough’s carbon footprint.
The parnership sees St Helens Council work with councils in Eindhoven, Interleuven and Kaiserslautern as part of the Better Lighting In Sustainable Streets (BLISS) project.
Coun Richard McCauley, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for environmental protection and safer communities, said: “The council is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and doing all it can to keep costs down as we continue to lose millions of pounds in government grants. If we do nothing we will be paying much higher energy costs in the future.”