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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 March 2008, 00:58 GMT
Call to switch off street lights
Lights in Inverness. (Pic: Iain Maclean)
Mr Coghill said cuts could save money and reduce emissions
A councillor wants at least half of the street lamps in the Highlands, outwith town and city centres, to be switched off to cut emissions and costs.

Robert Coghill said reducing lighting by a minimum of 50% would help reduce the region's carbon footprint, a measure of harmful gases it produces.

Highland Council convener Sandy Park ruled out any cut and said the authority was already saving energy.

Mr Park added that electricity bought for street lighting was "green".

Mr Coghill, Independent councillor for Landward Caithness, made his call in a question to Mr Park.

Dimming lights

The convener's response is contained in the agenda for Thursday's meeting of the full council.

Energy saving measures include street lighting being switched on and off through photoelectric cells which react to what natural light is available.

New and replacement lamps in Highland are electronically controlled which the council said was more efficient than older designs.

Its technical services department has carried out small trials on dimming lights to make further savings.

Last year, residents of Alford in Aberdeenshire were encouraged to Switch Off - Look Up to highlight energy waste and to enjoy the night sky.

The campaign was aimed towards the vernal equinox on 21 March when winter changes to spring.

A fine balance in the UK's electricity
28 Feb 08 |  Science/Nature

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