Electrical Safety Standards For Landlords

The private rental sector has grown rapidly over the last 15 years and there are now around 5 million rented properties in England. After many years of campaigning by electrical safety groups, such as Electrical Safety First, new rules for Landlords have been applied since last summer. At Carter Electrical we have seen some awful examples of poor wiring and electrical safety over the last 20 years so are pleased that these new regulations have been brought in.

From 1st June 2020, private landlords in England have been required to have the electrical installation in their rental properties checked by a qualified electrician to ensure that they are safe.

  • Electrical installations must have been inspected and tested prior to the start of a new tenancy from 1st July 2020
  • Checks must be carried out on any existing tenancies by 1st April 2021

These checks must then be carried out on a five yearly basis.

The Regulations do not cover electrical appliances, only the fixed electrical installations.

We recommend that landlords regularly carry out portable appliance testing (PAT) on any electrical appliance that they provide and then supply tenants with a record of any electrical inspections carried out as good practice.

Tenants are responsible for making sure that any of their own electrical appliances are safe.

Landlords must obtain a report (usually an Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR) from the person conducting the inspection and test which explains its outcomes and any investigative or remedial work required. At Carter Electrical Installations we have all the necessary accreditations to carry out an EICR on rented properties.

Landlords must then supply a copy of this report to the tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test, to a new tenant before they occupy the premises, and to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.

If a local authority requests it, landlords must supply them with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving the request.

If the report requires remedial work or further investigation, landlords must provide written confirmation that the work has been carried out to their tenant and to the local authority within 28 days of completing the work.

Landlords must retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.

Below is our up to date Electrical Safety Inspection Certificate.

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Green Is Go For 2021

New Electric Van-Tesla Powerwall-Solar Panels

Here at Carter Electrical we try hard to practice what we preach. So in 2020 we acquired an electric van for the business, installed solar panels and a Tesla battery at our offices. We have also installed similar at our own homes and signed up with Octopus Energy to be more green.

In 2021 we intend to continue this trend in our lives and our business. We would also like to help more of you become greener. So if you need a rapid charging point for your electric car, somebody to fit solar panels, or add a storage battery to your home or place of work we can help. We have the experience of fitting, and using these devices, in our own homes and office.

There are also various government grants available when installing electric vehicle chargers and solar panels. Money saving tariffs are worth looking in to when you have solar panels and a storage battery installed. We can advise on all aspects of an integrated energy system. Also a storage battery can act as a lifesaver if you have a power cut; which has become quite frequent in Berkshire and Oxfordshire in recent years.

Octopus Energy and Tesla Powerwall recently announced a joint energy plan with some of the lowest tariffs available in the market. The Tesla Energy Plan is an energy tariff specifically designed for homes with solar and Powerwall installed, offering 100% clean electricity and savings of up to 75% compared to Big 6 tariffs, based on electricity consumption of 8,000 kWh/year.

So you can save money as well as saving the planet. Do get in touch with us to find out more. Carter Electrical Installations

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As It’s Christmas-Our 12 Highlights of 2020.

  1. The Carter family were busy in November building a playhouse for The Heights Primary School Jon, Matt, Mick built the house with the assistance of Mikey. Jon’s son Xavi did the time lapse and video editing, and a great job he did too.

2) Pods at Stirrups Hotel

3) Floodlights at Abby Rugby Club

4) Kitchen Refurbishment

5) Solar Panels and Tesla Battery

6) Great energy report certificate

7) New Electric van

8) Defibrillator installation

9) Getting some great Google Reviews

10) Following all of the Covid-19 Guidelines

11) Installed Great Looking LED Lights

12) Sent Out Our First Ever Email Newsletter

https://conta.cc/2G1nMuv

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Electric Heating-Staying Cosy and Saving Money

Landlords and home owners who have old inefficient electric storage heaters installed can swap these out for new Dimplex Quantum heaters. The Dimplex heaters are 27% cheaper to run and more efficient. They provide instant warmth through dual-element technology with an advanced electronic controller. With the controller you can plan over 7 days and control the temperature. The heaters also have energy saving technologies, such as open window detection and eco start.

Landlords now have to get their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to grade D and this can often involve costly fabric improvements. A relatively cheaper option is to swap out the old storage heaters for a more modern stylish electric radiator.

We recently installed a Milano Windsor Electric Radiator. This radiator has exquisite vintage styling, featuring an authentic cast iron design. The beautifully crafted column radiator works independently of your central heating system and you can have the choice of a Wi-Fi Thermostat.

There are plenty of makes to chose from. Why not get in touch and update your old storage heaters for something more modern and efficient?

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When Do you Put Your Heating On?

Do you have disagreements in your house about putting the heating on? Do you have to wait for a certain date before it’s OK to switch the boiler on? Is one of you prepared to put a jumper on whilst the other one will jump straight for the thermostat at the slightest hint of Autumn? Is you heating system flexible enough for your needs?

Here at Carter Electrical Installations we can fit many different “smart” heating controls like Nest, Hive, Honeywell etc. These devices help you control your heating and learn your behaviours. Did you know that your heating will probably make up 60% of your energy bill? Why not turn the thermostat down by 1C or 2Cand save yourself money whilst helping the planet too.

You can also control your thermostat from your smart phone, enabling you to heat your home remotely. It’s a huge waste of money and energy to heat an empty house, so don’t leave the heating on when you’re out, instead turn your heating on from your phone so that you’ve got a lovely warm house to come home to.

The newer devices are now able to control your hot water supply too. We can fit smart devices to most heating systems and have you up and running very quickly. We are also able to fit new door entry systems like Nest Hello and Ring.

Did you also know that in 2025 the fitting of gas fired boilers will not be permitted in new homes? Therefore builders will have to look at electric boilers or Air Source Heat Pumps to heat their new build homes.

Air Source Heat Pumps is a technology that is readily available in the United Kingdom today. With government incentives available to help fund the installation of an air source or ground source heat pump, it has never been easier for British homeowners and businesses to switch to low-carbon heating. If you have an interest in switching away from your gas fired boiler why not get in touch with us and find out what options are available to you?

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New Electrical Testing For Landlords

New regulations introduced in June of this year require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested. Carter Electrical have been providing this service for Landlords in the Thames Valley for over 20 years.

EICR – Electrical Installation Condition Report: This is a test of the fixed wiring in a property (i.e. anything that can’t be unplugged). If all is acceptable and safe, a certificate can be issued. If not, a report is issued, which lists any faults found. If wished, CEI can provide a quote for any remedial work required to meet certification.

This means that all landlords now have to do what good landlords already do: make sure the electrical installations in their rented properties are safe.

Carter Electrical commented “The new regulations around the rental sector are a great step forward if properly enforced, which so far they seem to be. There are a lot of landlords that are being forced to bring their properties up to standard now and provide safer living conditions for their tenants.” Carter are fully accredited by all of the industry’s regulatory bodies.

“I’ve used Carter electrical for many years to inspect the electrics in my properties. Very happy with their thoroughness and levels of service. Would highly recommend” PG-Landlord

This is a major step towards levelling up the private rented sector, making sure it will offer high-quality, safe and secure housing.

  • Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
  • Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
  • Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
  • Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
  • Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.
  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
  • Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
  • Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.

The regulations came into force on 1 June 2020, they apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. The relevant date for determining when the new requirements apply is the date on which the tenancy is granted. A new tenancy is one that was granted on or after 1 June 2020.

What will be inspected and tested?

The ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, like the wiring, the socket-outlets (plug sockets), the light fittings and the consumer unit (or fuse box) will be inspected. This will include permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors.

What will happen in the inspection?

The inspection will find out if:

  • any electrical installations are overloaded
  • there are any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards
  • there is any defective electrical work
  • there is a lack of earthing or bonding – these are 2 ways of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations

What about electrical appliances like cookers, fridges, televisions etc?

The Regulations do not cover electrical appliances, only the fixed electrical installations.

We recommend that landlords regularly carry out portable appliance testing (PAT) on any electrical appliance that they provide and then supply tenants with a record of any electrical inspections carried out as good practice.

Tenants are responsible for making sure that any of their own electrical appliances are safe.

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Green Homes

In July, the government announced the new Green Homes Grant, which provides homeowners and landlords with £5,000 – £10,000 vouchers for energy-saving renovations.

The Green Homes Grant scheme is a £2 billion package to help the UK bounce back from the covid-19 pandemic by saving money, cutting carbon, and creating jobs. A further £1 billion package for the public sector was announced by Mr Sunak.

In total, this £3 billion initiative by the government plans to make 650,000 homes more energy efficient, help save households money on bills, lower the UK’s carbon emission by more than half a mega tonne per year — equivalent to taking 270,000 cars off the road — and support an estimated 140,00 green jobs.

‘This is going to be a green recovery with concern for our environment at its heart,’ Sunak says.

Green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal – measures that could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.

Households will be offered a list of approved TrustMark and MCS registered tradespeople in their local area to carry out the work. Once the works are agreed, vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September so work can commence.

An area covered by the new Green Grants is Air Sourced Heat Pumps. Carter Electrical will be registering with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme to enable their clients to claim under the Green Grant scheme.

In addition, households can use their voucher for further energy saving measures, including appliance tank thermostats and heating controls.

Promoting the use of renewable energy sources has been on the UK government’s agenda for many years now. The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive set out for all member countries to reach a 20% renewables target before 2020. The UK has been working towards that goal, but recently approved policies have been scrapped or the related incentives have been reduced.

Carter Electrical Installation have been installing and maintaining Solar PV systems in the Thames Valley since 2010. Although many installers have ceased trading as the Feed in Tariff has been scrapped, we’re still installing and servicing systems. If you’re interested, we can usually provide an initial quote and illustration without even visiting your home. Rest assured there will never be any hard-sell from us.

Prices are from approximately £1000 per 1kW installed (depending on specifications). If you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your home (and future-proof yourself a little against price increases in electricity), this can be a great addition to your home. We also offer battery storage with PV systems, from under £12,000 for an entire system comprising 4kWp solar PV together with 8kWh battery. We can of course fit battery storage to an existing solar PV system. Don’t worry if this sounds a little complicated we can take care of everything and provide you with the appropriate system for your home.

We can also service and repair existing fitted Solar Panels. Whether we installed them or not. Carter were recently called out to a fire caused by badly fitted and maintained solar panels on an industrial unit. (See the photo of the cherry picker on the right.)

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Electric Vehicles and Home Charging

According to the Daily Mail (1st July) the UK Government are considering offering drivers £6,000 towards an electric car if they scrap a diesel or petrol model. Electric cars are also exempt from Road Tax and will spare you from CO2 emission charges levied by some towns and cities. So some compelling economics to purchase an EV.

The Government has also provided extra funding for the fitting of home charging points and is providing £500 million towards public charge points over 5 years.

Already electric vehicles are becoming much more commonplace in this country and if the above is true then sales could be set to soar. Indeed the market share of electric vehicles sold was set to reach 5% in 2020 before Coronavirus hit all car sales. Sales of EV’s had tripled in the first three months of 2020, causing some supply challenges.

The questions most often asked by potential purchasers are:

  1. How far can I drive on one charge?
  2. How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?
  3. How much does it cost to fully charge my vehicle?

Most electric vehicles can travel 100 miles on one charge, with the Nissan Leaf capable of over 130 miles. Top of the range Tesla can drive for 250 miles!

Charging an EV can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 12 hours. It depends on the type of car battery, and the speed of the charging point.

Several factors can affect charging speed including:

The size of the battery

The dimensions of the car

How full the battery is

The maximum charging rate of the vehicle

The maximum rate of the charging point.

A typical EV with a 60kWh battery can go from empty to fully charged in just under eight hours with a 7kW charging point.

Owning a rapid home charger for your EV, or an EV charger that has a rapid mode or quick charge function, enables you to power your battery at a much quicker rate.

You can charge your electric car in different ways. Charging at home is the most common method, whether or not accelerated you can comfortably charge in the period that you do not use the car. Electric charging of course is even more economical if you have solar panels or a wind turbine. With normal chargers you can not choose how much use is made of your own electricity production.

Carter Electrical recommend and install zappi chargers. Jon Carter commented “And that is what the smart zappi charger distinguishes itself in. The zappi charges environmentally conscious and greener by applying as much as possible of its own consumption and pulling out of the grid as little as possible. This way you will be driving cheaper and cleaner.”

Now you can decide for yourself how fast your car needs to be recharged, with the zappi charger you can make maximum use of your own electricity production. If you don’t produce any electricity zappi can still be used to charge your vehicle from the grid.

Carter Electrical can also install other chargers, including Rolec. Please do get in touch with us if you would like more information on the installation of Electric Vehicle chargers.

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Tesla Powerwalls

Want to buy and store cheaper electricity?

Fed up with power cuts?

Want to work reliably from home?

Carter Electrical are proud to announce that they have been approved as an installer of Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries.

Tesla are well known for their electric cars and, after last week, the launch of SpaceX. What is lesser known is that Tesla have become a leading supplier in the UK of batteries to homes, offices, shops, and industrial units.

The advantages of employing Carter Electrical to install a Tesla Powerwall in your premises are many fold but the key points are:

  • Store power when it’s cheaper and release when electricity is expensive.
  • Have power back up when you experience a power cut.
  • Charge your electric car more cost effectively
  • The ability to sell stored power back to the grid.
  • Store power from your solar panels if you have them fitted.
  • Potential to become a self-powered home with a Powerwall 2 battery and PV panels both fitted.
  • Manage everything from the Tesla App.

With a 13.5 kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 Battery costing around £7,200 plus VAT estimates on payback range from 7 to 13 years depending on your tariff. As an approved Tesla Powerwall supplier Carter Electrical would be delighted to quote you to install the appropriate battery and accessories to your home, office or workspace.  Reading based Carter Electrical cover Berkshire, South Oxfordshire, North Hampshire and Surrey.

Tesla quote on their website ”A self-powered home combines solar energy and Powerwall to independently power your home day and night. During the day, solar panels can produce more energy than your home uses. Powerwall 2 stores this excess solar energy and makes it available on demand, even after the sun has set. Through the Tesla app, you will have full visibility into your self-powered home.”

Regarding all too frequent power cuts Tesla say “Powerwall detects grid outages and automatically becomes your home’s main energy source. Protect your home from the next power outage and keep your lights on, phones charged, and devices powered up.”


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Negative Electricity Prices!

A recent BBC report has highlighted how during the Coronavirus pandemic the National Grid were virtually giving electricity away. With demand down 15% across Europe, and with lots of sunshine and wind generating plenty of renewable energy, electricity prices went negative 66 times during April.

“Consumers who had signed up to flexible, real time tariffs with one UK energy supplier found themselves encouraged to use electricity when it went negative. ” according to the BBC.

“You’re doing a service to the National Grid,” says Greg Jackson from Octopus Energy, the company who encouraged their customers to use more during negative pricing episodes.

“The grid is going to pay someone to deal with this problem of oversupply. They will pay a company to build batteries, or they will pay companies to stop generating or you can pay customers to use electricity at those times.”

“These are all different ways of providing the service of balancing the grid.”

With the growth of powerful batteries consumers, both domestic and industrial, can buy electricity when prices are low and store it for later use.

Reading based Carter Electrical have just become an approved installer of Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries. Tesla have over 100,000 of their batteries installed in UK and are set to become the leading supplier. Powerwall is a completely automated system that installs easily and requires minimal maintenance.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52943037

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