Douglas Borough Council has won the Biggest Saving in the public sector category in the Department of Economic Development’s 2017 energy awards for its scheme to convert the borough’s street lighting to LED lanterns, a project set to achieve projected energy savings of around £2.7million over the lanterns’15-year warranty period.
The £1.5 million capital investment scheme, which began in February 2017, will see some 2,500 units fitted by the end of the 2017-2018 financial year. By the end of the project, a total of 4,400 LED lanterns will have been fitted.
The Biggest Saving award marks the second year in succession when the council’s commitment to reducing energy consumption has been recognised. In 2016 it won Most Innovative Project in the public sector category for its scheme to replace the oil heating system in the greenhouses at Ballaughton nursery with one using an air source heat pump. The new system is estimated to provide a saving of approximately £8,834 a year on heating bills and, over the 20-year lifespan of the system, projected savings in the region of £200,000.
Architect of the LED lighting scheme and an ardent proponent of cost-saving energy reduction measures environmental services chairman Ritchie McNicholl said: ‘I am pleased that the council’s efforts to reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint have once again been recognised publicly. The electrical services team have been enthusiastic and diligent in implementing this ambitious scheme which, because of the lanterns’ long life, will lead to reduced maintenance and allow our engineers to be deployed to where they are most needed.
‘This scheme complements the council’s continuing investment in town centre regeneration and will not only make significant savings and reduce carbon emissions but also, thanks to advanced optics technology, the new LED lanterns will provide a more uniform light distribution, thereby creating a safer, more secure environment for highway and pedestrian users.’
Council leader David Christian said: ‘Innovation across all the council’s functions is helping us to work smarter and drive down costs. Harnessing technology that not only offers financial and environmental benefits but also reduces the impact on the rates is embedded in the council’s culture and central to our corporate plan. I congratulate everyone involved in securing this award, which cements Douglas’s reputation as a pioneering local authority, one that is always willing to challenge the status quo and embrace change in its determined efforts to deliver for Douglas.’