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Local councils get Star treatment to cut street lighting costs

Jenny Williams

Electronics manufacturer Harvard Engineering has used remote monitoring to slash the electricity consumption of council street lights.

The company has reduced energy costs for local councils by up to 40%, using IT services provider Star to support LeafNut, its application for the remote management of street lighting.

LeafNut incorporates a radio transmitter and receiver into its street light lamp electronics, which sends information to a web server via GPRS. Councils can check whether street lights are faulty by logging onto the LeafNut application via a web browser.

Thirty local authorities use LeafNut to provide remote management and monitoring of data, such as power consumption of individual street lights, to save up to £46 per street light.

Westminster City Council is rolling out the application across all its street lights. Surrey County Council is also planning to replace 90,000 street lights in the next five years, all controlled by LeafNut.

The application is effectively deployed as a cloud service using service provider Star to host it.

"We started with a web server in-house," said Martin Baum, finance director at Harvard Engineering. "We moved into a co-location site but it was still on our hardware. So we looked for a partner to run web servers and the application better and more reliably than we can. Councils wanted back up and reliability. That's not our business," said Baum.


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