Plans for longer street lighting hours in Hertfordshire

Streetlights may stay on longer in Hertfordshire as council bosses are set to agree new guidance on part-night lighting.
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Most of Hertfordshire’s streetlights are switched off between 1am and 5am, when traffic is very low, to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the county’s electricity bill.

The current part-night lighting policy, combined with the switch to LED streetlights, has led to a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from street lighting – avoiding almost 12,000 tonnes of CO2 a year – as well as saving Hertfordshire’s taxpayers around £5million a year on the council’s electricity bill.

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However with most of Hertfordshire’s street lights now converted to more efficient LED lights with a central control system, it is now possible to dim lights and modify timings in specific areas, allowing more flexibility in the way we make the savings.

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The county council is planning to introduce a process to allow some lights to be kept on later where there is a specific local reason, with the lights staying on until 2am and coming back on dimmed between 5am and 6am.

Mark Kemp, director of Environment and Infrastructure, said: “Switching lights off in the early hours of the morning is reducing our carbon footprint and saving taxpayers money.

"However, with more efficient LED lights and intelligent control systems we can make some of these savings by dimming lights instead.

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"This means that if there are good reasons to leave the lights on longer in specific areas, and the local county councillor supports it, we may now be able to do this without increasing our energy usage.”

Council officers have been tasked with developing specific criteria to determine which streetlights could have their timing and intensity changed.

The new policy will now be discussed by the county council’s Cabinet.

This policy will contribute to the Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy - the county council’s ambitious programme to improve sustainability in the county.

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