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More than £280,000 could be spent to replace lights in Norwich car park

PUBLISHED: 12:29 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:21 09 September 2019

St Andrews Car Park.
 Photo: Denise Bradley
.

St Andrews Car Park. Photo: Denise Bradley .

©Archant Photographic 2010

More than £280,000 could be spent to replace more than 1000 lights in a Norwich car park, but council officers say it is worth it to slash carbon emissions.

The controlling Labour cabinet at Norwich City Council is next week likely to agree to borrow £285,000 so it can award a contract to replace the lights in St Andrews Car Park.

The project would see 1,083 light fittings at the car park replaced with energy efficient LED lights, with special sensors to reduce energy consumption.

The car park is the city council's second highest asset when it comes to consuming electricity and council bosses say making the switch would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 116 tonnes a year.

That is the equivalent of the carbon dioxide emissions which would be produced by burning 127,197 pounds of coal or through the electricity used by just over 20 homes in a year.

Council bosses say the new lights would "significantly reduce" the energy use on the site, by as much as 87pc.

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In a report which will come before councillors on Wednesday, officers state: "The existing lighting is now 15 years old. Some component parts of now obsolete and lighting failures are now commonplace with repairs expenditure increasing with time.

"It is anticipated an annual saving of approximately £10,000 on repairs and maintenance could be achieved."

A tender process was carried out over the summer and, by the time the cabinet meets, the bidder deemed to the best, will have been selected.

Councillors are to be asked to agree to borrow the money for the lighting upgrade through what is known as Salix Financing.

That is an interest-free loan funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Education, the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government.

Such loans were established so councils could borrow money to improve their energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills.

It would then be repaid over five years, through energy savings, which are estimated to be more than £50,000 a year.

If councillors give the scheme the go-ahead, the aim is for work to be completed before the end of March next year.

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