Working From Home? Upgrade Your Home Office

Are you enjoying working from home? Not missing the hour long commute? Want to prove to your boss that you are more productive at home? Want to stay working from home?

However, does your home office hardware and infrastructure support your maximum productivity? Have you moved in to a garden office like thousands of others, but still not got everything working properly? Do you need a power supply to your garden office?


First, let’s look at the easy changes that we can do right away, such as making sure your office has enough outlets, so you don’t need to use extension cords. Extension cords are a sign that you need a wiring upgrade. They’re a trip hazard, they’re ugly, and they’re unnecessary when you have the infrastructure you need.

You can tackle a shortage of outlets by calling an electrician. At the same time you increase the number of outlets, you can also add some USB charging points. Instead of clogging up the AC plugs when you’re charging USB devices, simply add USB outlets and charge your devices. In many situations, just changing out old AC points with USB points actually doubles the number of useable outlets. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Dedicated Computer Circuit

Another easy improvement is adding a dedicated computer circuit for the office/computer equipment. Because computers use more sophisticated components and are more sensitive to any changes in the electrical signal, a dedicated circuit is a needed safety feature. This circuit isolates your computer equipment from other devices on other circuits, such as heaters and refrigerators that intermittently draw more power. Whatever happens elsewhere in the home’s electrical system is separate from your computers.

Another upgrade is a surge suppressor. Installing a whole-house surge suppressor, that is located near the electrical panel, will protect the entire home from damaging electrical surges.

Hard-Wired Internet Connection for Better Speed

Lastly, replacing Wi-Fi with a hard-wired internet connection can provide a more stable connection that’s better for high-bandwidth tasks like videoconferencing. If you ever find that your Wi-Fi is a bit sketchy or unreliable, a hard-wired connection will solve that problem. It’s also a benefit when you have multiple users competing for bandwidth. Also a great solution for a garden office.

Although you might start with just a few upgrades, you may find your home office could also benefit from better lighting, security cameras, and other electrical upgrades that all need more power. Contact us here at Carter Electrical Installations to learn more about these and other improvements that will boost your productivity and enhance your home office security.


Consumer Units-aka Fuseboards

Check Out The Four Indicators That Signal You May Need An Upgrade.

1- Age- If your fuseboard has not been changed in twenty years then it is likely not compliant with current standards and may not provide you with basic protection. Technology and safety associated with consumer units has also moved on massively in the last thirty years from both the perspective of shock and fire protection and also the ease of use for the homeowner.

2- Does your consumer unit have an RCD (Residual Current Device)? Most modern consumer units should have and this single device massively increases the safety of your home electrics.

3- Live parts exposed- Are the working parts, fuses, or circuit breakers enclosed or are parts of the board exposed? It’s surprising how many fuseboards we come across with fuseholders or blanking plates missing leave live parts exposed to touch.

4- Fire risk- Is your fuseboard constructed of wood or plastic? If it is then it may not meet fire regulations. Should the worst happen, would the location of your fuseboard impede your escape in the event that it caught fire? Many consumer units are located either in an under-stairs cupboard or by the front door and many of these cupboards are also used to store potentially flammable objects.

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Air Source Heat Pumps

The Alternative To Gas Boilers?

Air source pumps serve as an alternative way to heat your home, and could be the ideal solution if you want to generate your own heat and potentially save money on your energy bills. 

Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) absorb heat from the outside air to heat your home and hot water. They can still extract heat when air temperatures are as low as -15°C.

Air source heat pumps need electricity to run, but because they are extracting renewable heat from the environment, the heat output is greater than the electricity input. This makes them an energy efficient method of heating your home.

How much do they cost? The typical air source heat pump cost ranges from £4,000-8,000, depending on the pump brand and its heat output.

Are they noisy? Because heat pumps come in all shapes and sizes, the sound and volume of noise they make varies between models and manufacturers. Fortunately, due to government regulations most modern air source heat pumps can work a lot quieter than older models.

Do you need planning permission for an AHSP? You do not need planning permission but do need to seek permission from the local supply authority as they need to check that the supply to your property can handle the extra draw on the electricity supply. Careful consideration must given given to the siting of the unit as there can be some noise pollution.

What brand of pumps do Carter Electrical install? We have installed Mitsubishi Ecodan and Midea pumps to date. The Midea unit is particularly quiet.

Do Carter Electrical have any accreditations? We have staff that have completed Energy Efficiency, ASHP and water regulation courses.

Types of pumps? There are two main types of air source heat pumps (ASHPs): air-to-water and air-to-heat. An ASHP works a bit like a refrigerator in reverse. The process consists of an evaporator, a compressor and a condenser. The ASHP absorbs heat from the outside air into a liquid at a low temperature, then the heat pump compressor increases the temperature of that heat. In the condenser, the hot liquid’s heat is transferred to your heating and hot-water circuits. So you can use it to warm up your home.

Many air source heat pumps are eligible for payment through the Renewable Heat Incentive, a government scheme that provides payments to homeowners who generate their own heat. 

Air-to-water heat pumps These take heat from the outside air and feed it into your wet central heating system. As the heat produced is cooler than that from a conventional boiler, you may need to install larger radiators or underfloor heating in your home to make the most of it. They qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), too. Under the UK government’s scheme, you could get money towards renewable heating costs in your home. Air-to-water heat pumps may be best suited to new-build properties. It could cost less if the heat pump is included as part of the building specification, rather than having to retrofit underfloor heating later on.

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98 out of 101-Energy Performance Certificate

We are thrilled. We have received the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) report for the new build house we worked on in Frimley.

It achieved 98/101 on the EPC, it is net zero on CO2 emissions. The only way to improve the rating would have been with Solar Thermal water heating.

The new build house is a timber frame construction and we installed Solar PV, Air Source heat pump, MVHR and an EV (Electrical Vehicle) charger. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) is a continuous source of ventilation that extracts stale, moisture-laden air from a building and resupplies fresh, filtered air back in, resulting in a comfortable and condensation free environment all year round. Besides the energy savings, MVHR systems have a number of other benefits and reasons for its implementation. Occupants with good MVHR systems often value the excellent indoor air quality as the most outstanding advantage.

This is the comment from the tester;
“It’s an excellent result as very few dwellings achieve an A rating, let alone a score of 98. Definitely one of the best results I have seen”

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Green Energy Solution for the Greenkeepers

Caversham Heath Golf Club has merged with Reading Golf Club and is to be called The Caversham. As part of this move there has been an extensive remodelling of the golf course. Included in the renovation of the golf course has been the building of a purpose-built unit for the Greenkeepers at The Caversham. Carter Electrical Installations have been involved from the start on this project and have installed Solar PV, Ducted Air, LED Lights and Fire Alarms. A total green solution!

With the 11kWp solar panel installation the building will mostly, if not always, be self-sufficient. Carter has also installed DC coupled battery storage so any surplus electricity, which there will most likely be plenty, can be stored up for the greenkeepers. This can then be used over night or during ‘peak’ energy times when electricity rates will be higher.

Heating and cooling for the internal offices and canteen area is handled by Daikin air to air heat pump units, giving a perfectly comfortable internal environment all year round. Apart from it being a more efficient system, it is complemented by the solar and battery storage.

All internal and external lighting is by Bell, Integral and Collingwood, and is not only LED, but also controlled by occupancy sensors so they aren’t left on unnecessarily. All in all an excellent outcome highlighting the benefits of an integrated green solution that Carter can provide to commercial buildings.

This project was delivered with the support of a grant from Low Carbon Workspaces. Grants are available to SMEs based in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire. To find out if your business is eligible contact the Low Carbon Workspaces team on 01494 927131 and at or to find out more go to

Once you have identified your project, we would be happy to help with the installation

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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

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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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