Milton Keynes Council - Light Bulb Swap

We developed, managed and delivered a light bulb swap scheme on behalf of Milton Keynes Council. As part of the 2015 European Sustainable Energy Week, residents in the borough had the opportunity to trade in their old, energy-thirsty halogen GU10 bulbs and standard incandescent bulbs for free, longer-lasting, energy and money-saving LED bulbs.

Milton Keynes Council ran a successful bulb swap in 2009 and were keen to repeat it. The aim was to use the council's Carbon Offset Fund to encourage residents to replace up to 14 energy inefficient bulbs with their low-energy LED equivalents, in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and household energy bills.

The new-for-old bulb types were:

OLD: GU10 halogen.

NEW: Robus R35GU10-ww - two pin. Emerald 3.5W, warm white-3000k, 275 lumen, non-dimmable.


OLD: Standard incandescent bulb.

NEW: LumiLife Standard Shape 6.3W - bayonet fixing. B22 high output warm white, 470 lumen, non-dimmable.


Services and main activities we provided

  • Developed, managed and delivered the project on behalf of the council.
  • Identified the relevant LED bulb types.
  • Calculated the associated carbon savings.
  • Ordered the necessary stocks of the appropriate bulbs.
  • Organised the distribution of the bulbs.
  • Produced promotional posters and press releases.
  • Liaised with the relevant council staff.
  • Staffed a bulb swap stall in Milton Keynes Central Library.
  • Produced a final report on the scheme for the council.

Key outcomes

  • 512 tonnes of CO2 saved per annum
  • 6,000 3.5W GU10 LED bulbs and 4,000 6.3W bayonet standard shaped bulbs distributed.
  • Bulbs distributed through nine local libraries and also Age UK Milton Keynes.
  • Safe disposal of the old tungsten bulbs by the council.
  • Milton Keynes householders could swap up to 10 LED GU10 bulbs and four LED bayonet standard-shaped bulbs.

The project was a success. It included both a general approach and the targetted emailing of residents who had signed up to the council's environment bulletins.

Distribution through local libraries worked well as they had supported a previous light bulb swap so staff knew what to expect.

Any bulbs not distributed during the European Sustainability Week were sent to Age UK Milton Keynes for use in its Home Energy Check service, which is also funded through the council's Carbon Offset Fund.

The council and its staff were happy with our final report and are keen to run a similar project in the future.

Related services

Carbon Offset Services

Carbon offsetting makes a significant contribution to reducing local carbon emissions and meeting nationally-determined targets. It also offers opportunities for local authorities to engage with their residents on issues such as climate change and provides a mechanism for financing a range of practical energy efficiency improvements that help improve the local area and residents’ wellbeing.

Project Management & Development

We have extensive experience in effective project management and development. With our diverse skill set including: technical, communication, public engagement and facilitation expertise we can support any project large or small; in the UK or beyond. In addition to our ability to write successful funding bids, our skills enable us to provide comprehensive project support.