PFI Partnership

SSE is responsible for the street lighting service until 2035

What is a PFI

A Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is a partnership between the public and private sectors. The public sector does not buy the assets but pays for their use, together with associated services. Capital investment in the assets is made by the private sector which recovers its costs over a long contract period.

Without a PFI there would not be enough funding to carry out such a large scale replacement and improvement programme. It allows us to invest in the latest technology to save energy and cut carbon emissions.

Business case for the PFI contract

Street lighting replacement programme

The street lighting replacement and upgrading programme was scheduled for 2010 to 2015.

Not all areas will have lights replaced. Unlit locations will not be affected and areas that have recently installed or upgraded lighting will only have their lantern heads changed. Around 13,000 of Hampshire’s street lights are operated by district, town and parish councils and most are also included in the PFI.

The new lighting is more energy efficient, providing improved visibility and reducing light pollution at night.

More street lighting facts and figures

  • 150,000
  • street lights, signs and bollards replaced or upgraded
Remote monitoring

A remote monitoring system, used to dim the lights, is also being introduced. Dimming the street lights remotely enables the light levels to be changed almost instantly from a centrally controlled base.

The scheme aims to save energy and reduce crime, using more energy efficient lamps, reduced burning hours and dimming lights to reduce carbon emissions

Some of the benefits of the project include:

  • investment in the latest technology
  • more efficient use of energy
  • improved visibility and reduced light pollution at night
  • safer streets and reduced crime
  • dimming lights by 25% from dusk to midnight and from 5am to dawn, and by 50% from midnight to 5am to reduce carbon emissions.
Service standards

A computerised monitoring system automatically checks each light every night and reports any faults directly to our PFI Service Provider, SSE Lighting Services.

For manual units night inspections are completed approximately every 14 days in the winter and every 28 days in summer.

Hampshire County Council aims to deal with faults promptly and within the following response times:

  • normal faults: attend site within three business days and repair or report more extensive repair or supply cable fault. In these cases repairs may take an additional 10 to 25 days to correct. 
  • where there is an electricity supply fault, which is the responsibility of Scottish and Southern Energy plc, the repair of these faults may take an additional 10 to 15 days to correct

The County Council also complete the following operations to keep all street lights and illuminated signs fully operational and electrically safe: 

  • planned maintenance cleaning and visual checks
  • every 24 months we carry out a visual, electrical, structural and mechanical inspection to make sure that the lights are in safe working order as well as cleaning the lantern
  • illuminated traffic bollards are cleaned three times each year during the winter months
  • lamps are generally replaced on block, every two or four years, depending on the type of lamp

Maintenance Management Plan

Technical information

Street lighting technical guide: This document is being updated and will be published shortly.  In the meantime for any enquiries email

Information on number and types of lights