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Switching Surrey’s 89,000 Street Lights to LED Costs £20m to Save £2m a Year

Published on: 27 Oct, 2020
Updated on: 30 Oct, 2020

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

A £20 million conversion of all Surrey’s 89,000 street lights to energy-efficient LEDs has begun in Guildford borough.

Lights in Surrey Heath and Waverley are also being changed as the three-year programme begins.

At present, powering street lights cost the county £3.8 million a year. LED ones will save £2 million a year (based on February 2020 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), 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.”

Tomorrow (October 27), the cabinet will discuss a refinancing of the wider streetlighting PFI contract to reduce costs. The savings will be used to support council services.

The contractor Skanska is managing the conversion to LEDs. The light changes will be combined with other maintenance (such as electrical tests) to save time and money.

Matthew Riches, Skanska’s operations director, said: “Upgrading the street lighting with energy-saving LED ones will help achieve significant savings in carbon emissions and energy, as well as improve the lighting for pedestrians and road users.”

To find out more about the streetlight conversion, visit

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