Shropshire Council is planning to convert almost 16,000 streetlights to LED lighting over the next three years – which they say help save more than £1.2m a year in reduced energy and maintenance costs once the conversion is complete.

The council believes the total cost of the conversion work will be £8.5m, with 70 per cent paid for through an interest-free loan from Salix Finance, and the remaining 30 per cent would be funded through Shropshire Council's highways capital budget.

The plans are set to be considered by the council's Cabinet in September this year, when they will be asked to agree the funding required and give the work the go-ahead.

Steve Davenport, Cabinet member for highways and parking, believes the move will help them conserve energy in a time when climate change is starting to impact on policy.

"I want us to conserve energy, helping the environment for future generations while keeping the lights on in the most important areas," he said.

"Converting our remaining streetlights to LED lighting is something that would save us well over £1m a year once the conversion programme is complete, while also saving energy and CO2, and ensuring that we have street lighting that is efficient and fit for purpose – which is great news all round.

"It was always the intention that further LED conversions would be carried out when value for money could be demonstrated. However, until recently the cost of LED lighting was prohibitive and didn't provide value for money.

"During the last few years the cost of LED lighting has reduced significantly and in some cases by as much as 50 per cent making the installation of LED lighting more affordable.

"I now look forward to taking a report to Cabinet in September and asking colleagues to approve the council's contribution towards this important scheme."

Since 2013, the council has converted more than 3,300 street lights from conventional 'sodium discharge' lighting to LED lighting. Subject to securing the Salix funding and Cabinet approval, work would be carried out to convert the remaining 15,783 lights.

Initial analysis suggests the work could deliver annual savings of 5,675,552kWh, an energy cost reduction of £805,000 per year, plus a reduction in CO2 emissions of 2,911 tonnes a year.