Keeping Warm During Winter: A Guide to Efficient Heating for Your Home

As the winter season approaches, the thought of cosying up indoors with a warm cup of tea becomes more enticing. However, ensuring your home stays comfortably warm during the colder months requires some planning and a reliable heating system. In this blog, we will explore various heating options and strategies to help you stay toasty throughout the winter.

Boilers: The Heart of Home Heating

Boilers are one of the most common and efficient methods of heating homes. They work by heating water and distributing it through pipework to various radiators in rooms. Here are some considerations for boiler owners:

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule annual maintenance to ensure your boiler operates at peak efficiency. Clean filters, inspect valves, check fluid cleanliness and address any issues promptly to avoid costly repairs later. 
  • Thermostat Optimisation: Invest in a programmable thermostat to regulate temperatures efficiently. Lower the temperature when you’re away or sleeping, and raise it when you’re home and active. Look to run the system longer and cooler to maximise efficiency.

Underfloor Heating: Luxurious Warmth

Under floor heating is a very efficient option that provides even, comfortable warmth throughout your home. It involves heating coils or tubes installed beneath the floor surface. Effectively, underfloor heating is a big radiator in the floor:

  • Energy Efficiency: underfloor heating is energy-efficient as it it larger than wall hung radiators the flow temperatures can be lower to give the same amount of heat into a given room.
  • Flooring Materials: It works best with certain flooring materials, like tile or stone, which conduct heat effectively. Ensure compatibility with your existing flooring or plan accordingly during renovations.
Underfloor Heating

Air Source Heat Pumps: Efficient All-Season Solutions

Air source heat pumps are versatile systems that both heat and cool your home, which work by moving heat from 1 place to another. A fridge is a type of heat pump, they move heat from inside to outside of the fridge, if you felt the grills on the back they would be warm. ASHPs are basically outdoor boilers, they heat water in pipework that goes to either underfloor heating or radiators in your home during winter. Furthermore, they can even extract heat when temperatures are warm, moving the warm internal air to outside and cooling down the house. Here’s why they’re a popular choice:

  • Year-Round Comfort: Heat pumps provide efficient heating during winter and cooling during summer, making them an all-season solution.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint: They’re low carbon, and could be particularly cost-efficient if you’re replacing an outdated or costly system. Especially when combined with solar.
Energy Efficient Retrofit

Energy-Efficient Practices

Lastly, regardless of your heating system, practicing energy-efficient habits can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Sealing and Insulation: Properly seal gaps and insulate your home to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from infiltrating.
  • Sunlight Utilisation: During the day, open curtains or blinds to allow natural sunlight to warm your home. Close them at night to retain heat.
  • Regular System Checkups: Periodically check your heating system for issues and replace parts as needed to maintain efficiency.

Keeping your home warm during the winter doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right heating system and energy-efficient practices, you can enjoy a cosy and comfortable living space throughout the coldest months. If you’re unsure which heating solution is best for your home or need assistance with maintenance and installation, contact us for expert guidance and support. Stay warm and enjoy a snug winter season!

Read More

The Circular Economy and Renewable Energy: Creating a Synergistic Approach to Sustainability

No, you haven’t mistakenly clicked on a university thesis, this is indeed our August blog! The circular economy and renewable energy are two crucial components, which work together to create a more sustainable future. We’ll explain them today in a little more detail, and how we already utilise this concept at Carter Electrical Installation to create a greener future.

What is the Circular Economy?

Basically, it’s an economic system designed to eliminate waste and promote the continual use and regeneration of resources. Rather than the traditional linear economy, which works on the basis of take-make-dispose, and leads to excessive resource extraction and waste generation, the circular economy aims to close the loop by reusing, refurbishing, and recycling products and materials, rather than them ending up as waste. Chiefly, it works on the key principles of creating durable, long-lasting products; reusing and refurbishing; recycling materials and optimising the use of resources. As can be seen in the below graphic, the circular economy is one of regeneration and longevity.

And Renewable Energy, what’s that?

Renewable energy is energy derived from natural resources that are constantly replenished and virtually inexhaustible. Unlike fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), which are finite and contribute to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy sources are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Some common examples of renewable energy include solar power, wind power, hydro power, geothermal energy, and biomass. Overall, the advantages of renewable energy include the reduction of carbon emissions, lessening the dependency on fossil fuels and creating a sustainable energy resource.

Circular Economy + Renewable Energy = Sustainability

By combining these two concepts, we can create a powerful sustainability strategy. By reducing waste, preserving resources, and adopting clean energy sources, this approach helps address environmental challenges and fosters a more resilient and sustainable future. 

At Carter Electrical Installation, we install Solar PV systems that are used to provide clean, renewable energy that can be converted into electricity to use in your home or business, meaning you could save hundreds of pounds a year on your electricity bills. Additionally, by harnessing the renewable energy that comes from solar power, your reliance on fossil fuels decreases, providing a cleaner alternative, and one that positively impacts climate change.

Contact us today and we can discuss solar panels or renewable energy options for your home or business.

Read More

Renewing our company one electric vehicle at a time

Pardon the pun, but our newest electric Maxus van has been on the roads for a couple of months now. One of our four 100% electric vans, it is emblazoned with our new Carter Renewables branding, an exciting division of our company focusing on Solar PV systems, Electric Vehicle Charging, Tesla Powerwalls and Solar battery installations.

As we look to diversify Carter Electrical with its new sister division Carter Renewables, it’s important we showcase the best of what renewable energy has to offer. And what better way than through our electric fleet; the Maxus EDeliver 3 does around 135 miles on a full charge, perfect for our work in and around the Reading area.

Carter Electrical New Electrical Vehicle

Why change to Electric Vehicles?

The electric vehicle (EV) market is booming, according to the latest vehicle stats. Electric car sales increased by 40% in 2022 and EVs enjoyed another record year with more than one in ten new vehicles being electric. The proportion of electric cars within the wider used car market is only going one way – up. Overall, 1.61 million new cars were registered in 2022 – a figure that’s 2.0% down on 2021 due to the impact of the pandemic and the continued global semiconductor chip shortage. Despite this, more battery electric vehicles (BEV) were sold in 2022 than ever with 267,203 registrations (16.6% of all new car sales), while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) made up 6.3% or 101,414 cars.

Electric car sales are now second only to petrol cars in the UK.

Completing the circuit

With this in mind, more and more clients are reaching out to us to start the conversation about how they can make renewable adaptations to their homes and business premises to reduce their running costs for their electric vehicles. These include projects as straightforward as installing personal electric car chargers, such as the MyEnergi Zappi, or opting for our self-titled Triple Solution, where clients are storing the energy from their solar panels in storage batteries before using that generated power to run their homes. Batteries also let you charge up overnight with cheaper electric to reduce your unit price of electricity in the winter when there is less solar being generated.

Get Carter, go green!

So what are you waiting for? If you’re considering going green with your vehicle in the interests of contributing to a cleaner planet, not to mention adding value to your property or commercial venue, talk to us about an initial quote.

Read More

Falling Energy Prices-Can They Fall Further?

As discussed in our blog from March we are beginning to see the energy market return to more normal pricing. The price cap for July will fall to £2,074 from £3,280 set in April. Consumers have been paying £2,500 due to the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee. Therefore with the cap at £2,074 consumers will begin to benefit from some relief. However gas and electric prices are still above the levels seen before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Price Cap is expected to fall to below £2,000 by the third quarter of the year. However this is still substantially above the £1,100 level seen in 2021. There are now some fixed price deals available for consumers, but with lower prices ahead it might pay to wait to fix your supply. Octopus Energy will be introducing a variable tariff from the beginning of July. This deal will track wholesale energy prices by the day. A deal that might suit households who use most of their energy off-peak.

Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley said:

“After a difficult winter for consumers it is encouraging to see signs that the market is stabilising and prices are moving in the right direction. People should start seeing cheaper energy bills from the start of July, and that is a welcome step towards lower costs. 

“However, we know people are still finding it hard, the cost-of-living crisis continues and these bills will still be troubling many people up and down the country. Where people are struggling, we urge them to contact their supplier who will be able to offer a range of support, such as payment plans or access to hardship funds.  

“In the medium term, we’re unlikely to see prices return to the levels we saw before the energy crisis, and therefore we believe that it is imperative that government, Ofgem, consumer groups and the wider industry work together to support vulnerable groups. In particular, we will continue to work with government to look at all options.”  

One element of our energy bills that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the standing charge. These charges have gone up somewhat unnoticed over the last few years. in 2021 standing charges were 51p a day and are now expected to rise to 84p per day later this year. That is an increase from £185 to £307 per year. With lower overall bills on the way the standing charge could make up to 15% of your total energy bill. The reason for this is apparently to cover the cost of the 31 energy suppliers that have gone bankrupt in the last two years.

On a final note. Writing blogs for Carter Electrical Installations over the last three years I have learnt so much about the energy markets and Green Energy. My one main observation would be how the high energy prices has driven the boom in households and businesses installing solar panels, inverters, storage batteries, EV chargers and Air Source Heat Pumps. As alternative energy sources boom the long term trend for oil and gas prices could be down, especially if the Ukrainian crisis is resolved. Wishing my successor all the very best. Phil

Read More
EV charging point

Take Tesla Battery With You

Removal and re-install of Tesla battery for new home

Some very good clients of ours recently moved to Herefordshire. We were delighted to be asked by them to remove their Tesla battery from their house in Reading and refit it in their new home. People are making major investments in green energy for their homes so that it is good to know that most elements of a solar system can be removed and used in new houses. It is rare that solar panels are moved as the costs of removal make this prohibitive. Also, newer panels are much more cost effective than older ones.

We have written several blogs about the benefits of installing storage batteries and their pros and cons. After a period of shortages we are also noticing a better supply of Tesla Powerwall batteries now.

As well as fitting their Tesla Powerwall storage battery we added 17 x 425 Trina Vertex modules (solar panels) and SolarEdge optimisers and an inverter. This was to minimise tree shading and allow a couple of elevations. Along with this we fitted a MyEnergi Zappi electric car charger. This was a great project to work on as our clients will now be generating plenty of power from their panels, storing it in their Tesla battery and running their electric vehicles from their generated power. We’ve called it the Triple Solution

Please do get in touch with us if you’d like any more information about whether your installations can be moved or indeed if you are starting out on the green energy journey.

Carter Electrical Helpers Bailey & Pebbles
All of our work in Herefordshire was watched over by Bailey and Pebbles.

Read other Tesla related articles:
Tesla Powerwall Installation In Reading
Approved Installers of Tesla Powerwall 2 Batteries
Read More
energy price update

Lower Bills Ahead?

It looks likely that with falling natural gas and oil prices household energy bills could slip below the government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). One of the energy suppliers, Ovo Energy, have announced a 12 month tariff of £2,275 to existing customers that is below the EPG of £2,500 (for the average family home). If energy prices fall further it is not unlikely that deals could come on the market this summer for £2,000 per year. These deals are still almost double what they were before Russia invaded Ukraine, but it encouraging to see some competition return to the domestic supply market.

Energy price guarantee

The Energy Price Guarantee was brought in to protect consumers from the soaring price of gas and electric reflected by the Energy Price Cap (EPG). The Energy Price Cap has risen from around £1,000 per annum 2 years ago to a high of £4,279 this January. Therefore the government have been subsidising households this Spring to the tune of £1,800 per year. £4,279 minus £2,500 =£1,779. Now with prices likely to fall below the EPG the government will no longer be subsidising households to such an extent. It is possible that the Energy Price Cap will fall further from its present level of £3,280 to around £2,000 this summer.

Green energy investments for your home

Obviously forecasting oil and natural prices is fraught with danger. With OPEC announcing production cuts this week, and the price of crude rising sharply, nothing is written in stone. And with fighting still going on in Ukraine it is very hard to make accurate predictions. Therefore we still advise householders to use the rest of the year to improve the insulation in their homes, and maybe look at Green energy projects for their houses. The return on investment for Green energy is still good even with annual power bills around £2,000. Don’t forget that their are still government grants available for certain projects, especially installing Air Source Heat Pumps.

Read More
tesla powerwall installation reading

Best Ever Testimonial for Installation of Green Energy Products

Installation of solar panels, Tesla Powerwall battery and Air Source Heat Pump

This project in Caversham has been a full installation of Green energy products. We installed 10Kw of solar panels with a supporting Solar Edge inverter and hot water diverter, a Tesla Powerwall battery, an Air Source Heat Pump from Midea, and a Mixergy smart tank. A fully integrated solution. So much so that the client has had his gas supply removed.

Please read Nigel’s glowing testimonial below.

“From the moment we contacted Carter Electrical, they demonstrated a deep understanding of our renewable energy goals and provided a high-quality service.

Renewable energy solution

Their team worked closely with us to design and implement a custom renewable energy solution for my home, covering; solar, heat-pump, battery, smart hot water tank, underfloor heating and car charger.

The installation process was completed rapidly, with Matt getting us up and running before the winter set in. The team were flexible during the installation and were able accommodate additional panels on our roof.

Since the system was installed, we’ve seen significant reductions in our energy bills. In mid Feb for the first time we achieved full independence, going a full day on solar and battery alone. We’ve also had the gas meter taken out. Having independence and energy security were core objectives of our project and Carter’s helped to deliver them for us.

We highly recommend Carter’s to anyone who is looking to start saving money on their energy bills and doing their bit for the planet.”

Nigel Markey

Read More
tesla powerwall installers reading

Green Energy Projects-The Heat Goes On.

2023 has started out extremely busy for us here at Carter Electrical Installations. We are working on several projects, both commercial and residential, where clients are looking for Green energy solutions. So as well as having solar panels fitted clients are looking for solutions by adding storage batteries, EV chargers and Air Source Heat Pumps. We described this as the Triple Solution in a blog last year.

Clearly the surge in energy prices last year is driving demand for Green energy solutions. The return on investment on installing these products is so much higher when gas and electricity prices have soared. Also helping is the easing of supply chain bottlenecks, although some products are still on fairly long lead times.

Emmer Green Energy Project

We recently completed a project in Emmer Green where we added more solar panels, an immersion diverter and a Zappi EV charger. This project will be completed next year when we add a Tesla storage battery. This is one of the products that still has a long lead time.

The solar panels were mounted on a K2 system and we installed a Solar Edge 4kw inverter. The EV charger is from myenergi Zappi and we also installed an Eddi immersion diverter from myenergi.

Caversham Energy Project

The project highlighted in the header picture is from our recent work in Chazey Road, Caversham. The client is so pleased with the results that he has cut off his gas supply and gone fully electric. This was a comprehensive project with 10kw of solar fitted to SolarEdge inverter, with optimisers to maximise panel performance and minimise the effects of shading, a Tesla storage battery, a Samsung HTQ air source heat pump and a Mixergy smart hot water cylinder. This is a serious investment by the client but has superb outcomes with lower bills for most of the year and insulated against price increases.

Read More
air source heat pump reading

Game Changer

It’s the new Samsung HTQ (High Temperature Quiet) unit.
Extremely quiet, very efficient Air Source Heat Pump and has the ability to get flow temperatures up to 70°C. This means it has the potential to be a direct replacement for boilers, without the need to upgrade cylinders and majority of radiators.

All of a sudden heat pumps are becoming an affordable option.

In addition to this energy suppliers are offering flexible tariffs to work with heat pumps to give cheaper energy windows for times when the unit can run hotter for hot water generation. 

Want to learn more about the Samsung HTQ? Watch the video on You Tube

The photos below are from a recent project in Thatcham where we installed the new Samsung HTQ. Later in the year Solar PV will be installed so running costs will be very low.

Please do get in touch with us if you want to find out more about installing an Air Source Heat Pump. Please call us 0118 967 7033 or email us

Read More
Solar panel installation

2022 and all that

For this our December blog we are going to look back on our blogs posts from 2022. Little did we know how prescient our first blog of the year was going to be. Titled “Coming to your in 2022-Higher Energy Bills” we predicted that the energy cap would rise sharply in April. What we didn’t know was the Putin would order the invasion of Ukraine and send gas and oil prices soaring further. The energy cap will rise to £4,279 in January.

However consumers are protected by the Energy Price Guarantee until March 2024. The Energy Price Guarantee protects consumers reducing the unit cost of electricity and gas so that that a typical dual fuel direct debit bill for January 2023 remains at £2,500 and will be increased from April 2023 to a new level of £3000. Ofgem are also moving to quarterly price cap updates.

Lets hope that energy prices saw their peaks in 2022 and that wholesale prices of gas and oil continue to fall further. We have offered advice in a couple of blogs of how to save money and how to run your gas boiler efficiently.

We further addressed price inflation in our blogs for May and June titled The Perfect Storm-Parts 1 and 2. As well as energy price inflation these two blogs discussed the shortages in the supply chain affecting our electrical business. Some parts have been in acute shortages all year and have affected our work flow and deliverability on projects.

The rapid rise in energy prices has led to a record year for Carter Electrical Installations with our Green Energy projects. We have covered the installation of Green Energy in several blogs this year. Offering advice on the best products to use and how to run things efficiently. We have seen good demand from golf courses to install Solar PV and storage batteries and covered the topic in our July blog-Golf Courses Go Green. We also wrote blogs on Solar Panels and how they work and storage batteries-Battery Power

Carter Electrical are a local to Reading family run company, that has built up plenty of experience in installing Solar PV, inverters, storage batteries, EV chargers and Air Source Heat Pumps. Its this combination of skills combined with our electrical contracting background that makes us quite unique in the industry. The one issue that we continue to focus on is recruiting more electricians with experience of green energy. Though we do offer training in this area for qualified electricians. We covered this subject in our August blog-Are You Looking For A New Challenge?

It just remains to wish all of our readers, customers and suppliers a very merry Christmas and a successful and healthy New Year. Best Wishes from Jon, Matt and the Team

Read More