Finances – or lack of them….

From another FoI request:

Street Lighting Information

Could you please tell me the number of street lights your LA is responsible for, the average
wattage of the bulbs used, the annual electricity costs, the annual maintenance costs and the
person/ department responsible for their replacement/maintenance programme?

Number of [Cambs] County Council Street Lights = 55221
Average Lamp Wattage = 52.67watts

    Annual estimate Energy Cost for 2010/11 = £1.4m

Annual estimate Maintenance Cost for 2010/11 = £2.5m
Contact: Environment Services, Asset Management (Street Lighting Department)

So – this was costing us residents £2.5m per annum. Please note, under the PFI, CCC still pay the electricity bill, albeit a lower one.

The PFI will cost us £203m/25y = £8.1m per annum. Let’s knock off £0.5m for the savings in electricity (I am being generous here…)

That gives a discounted annual cost of £7.6m for replacement and maintenance under the PFI. THREE TIMES AS MUCH!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t see how exactly this deal is saving us ratepayers any money at all?

If you have any information about this then please use the feedback form below and I’ll look into it. If you prefer to remain anonymous them please use the name “Anonymous” and email address “”. Thanks!

One other area of concern is the massive waste while installing the new lights – while other regions have just upgraded their luminaires with the new networked controls, in Cambridgeshire Balfour Beatty seem hell bent on installing as many brand new poles as possible. I don’t know if this means that the overall contract has been unduly inflated but it does make you wonder.

Here is one ridiculous but not uncommon example just a few yards from my house. The old pole on the left is barely five years old and obviously in great condition:




What makes this installation especially bad is that the parish council paid extra to upgrade the old pole with the mains socket you can see halfway up, for the annual Christmas lights. And now they will have to pay BB several thousand pounds to have the same fittings re-installed on the new poles:


The luminaires – as you can see – are virtually identical – so why not just upgrade the luminaire on the old pole? Madness!



One thought on “Finances – or lack of them….

  1. Pingback: My Streetlamp Nightmare – how to ruin a Grade II Listed Building | Street Lighting Action Group - cambridgeshire

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