More street lights set to be turned off

New measures are being introduced to help reduce the borough’s carbon footprint and energy costs.

At their meeting last week, cabinet members at North Tyneside Council agreed to a trial scheme to start in the summer to switch off 3,200 lamps between midnight and 5.30am in non-residential areas identified as having a low crime risk.

The move, which could save £140,000 a year, follows on from the authority dimming some lights and trimming the times they switch on or off.

Coun John Stirling said: “This new trial will allow us to go a step further and achieve even more energy savings.

“We are reassuring people that we are not looking at turning off lights in residential areas. Part-night lighting will help us make significant reductions to our energy consumption and slash our electricity bill by a further £140,000 a year.

“This is a trial scheme which will be carefully monitored and the views of local residents and businesses will be taken into account before anything is final.”

Cabinet members also agreed the council would help promote a collective energy switching scheme, aimed at helping households get the most competitive deal for their gas and electricity bills.

Households can register an interest in switching energy suppliers. The company running the scheme, iChoosr, then presents all the registered households to energy providers who take part in a reverse auction to provide the best tariffs.

Coun Stirling added: “Approximately 57,000 homes in our borough have never changed their energy supplier, meaning they have potentially missed out on hundreds of pounds of savings.

“And with around 10,000 of our households living in fuel poverty, we must act now and help residents access and take advantage of such schemes, and I am delighted we now have the means to do so.

“As a council, we are committed to reducing residents’ fuel bills and we are making great progress through our different initiatives.

“I am confident we will achieve the same success with the collective energy scheme, which we hope to have up and running by late autumn.”