Luton Borough Council is the first local authority in the UK to roll-out the revolutionary LeafNut remote monitoring and control system for street lighting from Harvard Engineering using the company’s innovative ‘Install to Save’ finance package.
‘Install to Save’ allows local authorities to install LeafNut without having to pay any of the up-front equipment costs, which are paid back in instalments over an agreed number of years from the energy savings made through the installation of the innovative control system.
Luton Borough Council, one of the first to trial LeafNut in 2007, tendered the first contract of its kind to include both the supply of equipment and the funding to purchase the equipment, which Harvard duly won.
Harvard was able to tailor Luton’s payments to include the actual energy consumption used, the equipment costs and the carbon reduction savings that will be achieved. The scheme is also designed so that repayments only start after the first quarter following installation. Councils are guaranteed to never pay more than they are actually saving.
Cllr Dave Taylor, portfolio holder for highways at Luton Borough Council, said, “Like all local authorities across the country, here in Luton our challenge is to cut carbon emissions and mitigate the costs of continued energy price increases against a background of reduced Government funding.”
He added: “Our chosen solution allows us to cut our carbon emissions while saving money through prudent energy management. In the current financial climate, Luton Borough Council could not afford to invest in this type of technology across its street lighting stock, but the way that the finance package is structured, allows us to pay the costs from the savings made.”
Payback for the entire system is scheduled to be over 20 years, with Luton expected to reduce energy costs by as much as £4million over the same period.
Russell Fletcher, sales and marketing director at Harvard Engineering commented, “When it comes to installing new innovative street lighting solutions like LeafNut, the problem is not about convincing councils of the benefits – they are all under pressure to save energy and to reduce their carbon footprint – rather securing the finance to roll them out. Harvard’s ‘Install to Save’ finance scheme allows councils to install LeafNut and to start making savings whilst paying for the system over a guaranteed period of time.”