To consider a report which updates Committee on progress relating to the MTFS revenue savings proposal – energy saving measures from streetlights.
The Committee considered the report which provided an update on progress against the MTFS revenue saving proposals PL23-27 (energy saving measures from streetlight). It was reported that the Council provided over 40,000 streetlights across the Borough and the proposals set out within the report sought to reduce energy consumption by reducing the number and timing of streetlighting either by turning streetlights off completely or in part, commencing Winter 2023.
The Committee noted the difficult financial challenges facing the Council and that energy prices would continue to rise during 2023-24. It was confirmed that the Council’s price per unit of electricity would increase by 11% to £0.294 per kWh adding a further £137,000 pressure to the existing street lighting energy budget in 2023-24. The Committee agreed that taking no action was not an option.
The Committee were supportive of the flexibility of the Central Management System (CMS) and its ability to give control over the exact switch on/off times of individual streetlights and the ability to turn streetlights back on in high-risk areas or in the event of an emergency. The Committee requested that a review of any proposal subsequently implemented following Committee approval is brought back to the Committee to reflect on how this had worked over a 12-month period. Members queried the costs of CMS implementation. Officers committed to keeping the Committee informed of the implementation costs, following a market feasibility study.
Committee Members were supportive of streetlighting energy savings proposals being put out to public consultation in September/October 2023 on the basis that the feedback from consultation informed the final proposals that would be considered by the Committee prior to any change being implemented. It was confirmed that consultation would also involve statutory partners including the Police.
That the Highways and Transport Committee
1. Note progress to date in relation to energy savings measures from streetlights.
2. Agree a delegation of authority to the Director of Highways and Infrastructure, in consultation with the Chair of Highways and Transport Committee, to finalise the initiatives and take all steps to complete public consultation on the energy saving options as set out in Table 1 of the committee report.
3. Note that the outcomes of consultation will be reported to Committee in January 2024 together with recommendations on an implementation plan.