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Thousands of street lights across Hampshire are going to be dimmed down at night to help save money and energy.
It's been agreed that they'll be turned down by about 50% between midnight and 5am every day - though crime hot spots won't be included.
In areas where the new, white street lighting has replaced the orange lighting, residents have reported they would like the intensity of light reduced because they felt the lights were too bright. In response to this, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Mel Kendal, asked officers to consider how lighting could be reduced effectively, without any adverse affect on security and safety in low crime areas.
The County Council has worked with Scottish and Southern Energy to trial the adjustment of lighting levels in some low crime areas, lowering it to 75 per cent of their full capacity from sunset to midnight, and from 5am to sunrise, and to operate at 50 per cent of full capacity between midnight and 5am.
This trial has proved successful and, if rolled out across the county, it will bring carbon emissions down by 27 per cent from 26,000 metric tonnes of CO2 to 19,000 tonnes. As a result, proposals to dim lights to trial levels are to be considered on 6 March at the Environment and Transport Decision Day by Councillor Mel Kendal.
Councillor Kendal said: “Reducing carbon emissions in Hampshire is a key priority and by adjusting lighting levels in Hampshire where it is appropriate to do so, we will be able to achieve significant reductions and even exceed Government targets. The report I have been asked to consider is for dimming in areas of low crime and does not affect major traffic intersections or town centre areas. I must stress however, that I will only make the decision where I am confident that the change in lighting levels will still leave residents feeling safe and secure when out at night.”
If the proposals are agreed, the light levels will be adjusted across the county as the new light stock is rolled out over the five year core investment period. The flexibility of the remote monitoring system, integral to the new lights, means that the lighting intensity can be increased or reduced easily to a level that is suitable for the area. If the decision goes ahead it is calculated that, subject to fluctuations in wholesale energy prices, approximately £1.3 million savings per annum could be achieved if the proposed dimming regime is maintained for the remainder of the contract.