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What is PAT Testing?

You’ve probably heard of ‘PAT testing’ before, but not everyone knows what it actually means. ‘PAT’ stands for Portable Appliance Testing (this means that the term ‘PAT testing’ is the electrical equivalent of saying ‘PIN number’, but we won’t worry about that too much here).

So, what does it really mean? In short, Portable Appliance Testing is a process designed for any electrical appliance that can be moved by hand. It may seem obvious to some, but PAT testing is important because it helps to prevent against electrical fires, or any other harm or injury that could be caused to employees and customers by faulty electrical equipment.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 were brought in by the government to make preventing such harm and injury a legal requirement. PAT testing is not compulsory, however, the quickest and easiest way to abide by these regulations is by conducting regular PAT tests on your electrical equipment.

What does PAT testing involve?

  • A piece of equipment called a PAT tester, or PAT testing device, which is connected to the appliance in question. A series of electrical tests are conducted to check that it is functional and in a safe condition.
  • Most PAT testers confirm results quickly and simply as either a ‘pass’ or a ‘fail’.
  • Alongside this, a visual inspection of the appliance is also carried out by the person conducting the PAT test.

A common assumption is that Portable Appliance Testing means checking an electrical appliance using a PAT tester. But in fact, the phrase ‘PAT testing’ refers to the overall process. Importantly, this includes the visual inspection of the appliance.

This is because:

  • The visual inspection only reveals any physical defects, such as hazardous exposed wiring
  • The PAT testing device confirms the condition of the electrics but can’t detect physical defects.

Essentially, they depend on each other to provide a complete evaluation.

How often should I be testing my electrical appliances?

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 asserts that all electrical equipment must be kept in a condition that prevents it from causing harm in the workplace. Beyond that, it doesn’t go into further detail. This means that there is no minimum legal requirement for how often an item must be PAT tested.

Having said that, it remains necessary to check the condition of electrical appliances as often as possible in order to prevent a workplace-related injury. Otherwise, you really could be in legal trouble. Additionally, insurance companies will also require you to conduct regular checks of your electrical equipment.

As a general rule, it’s worth remembering that electrical items that are handled more often should be PAT tested more often. So, for example, a kettle or a vacuum cleaner needs more frequent testing than a TV or a standing lamp might require. There are recommendations for how often different electrical appliances should be PAT tested: if you speak to an expert, they can give you the most accurate guidance.

It’s also often asked whether newly purchased electrical equipment needs to be PAT tested before its first use. As a rule, an electrical product from any self-respecting manufacturer should arrive in a safe and functional condition. A quick visual inspection for any physical defects before first usage should suffice.

Who should I contact about a PAT test? Point Electrical van

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 doesn’t specify who is required to check the safety and functionality of workplace appliances. That means that PAT testing can be carried out by yourself or a trusted member of staff, provided you own a PAT testing device.

However, an expert electrician is always advisable in order to ensure accurate and reliable results. When it comes to matters of health and safety, it’s always best to be absolutely certain that you’ve put the best possible measures in place.

If you’re looking for a qualified electrician to reliably PAT test your electrical appliances, then look no further. Point Electrical’s trusted commercial electricians are NICEIC approved and always happy to assist and provide expert advice. Get in touch and get it sorted, no hassle required.

Are LED Lightbulbs Really Worth It?

You may have heard about the many benefits of LED lightbulbs. From brighter lighting solutions to saving energy, however, are they really worth the extra money?

There are 3 main types of lightbulbs on the market;

  • LED– light emitting diode
  • CFL– compact fluorescent light
  • Incandescent– emits light due to being heated

LED lights are currently the most sustainable type of bulb available. They use a mixture of red, green and blue light to emit bright white light and are best for illuminating concentrated areas.

CFL bulbs sit between LED and incandescent. They are fairly energy efficient, however, sometimes take slightly longer to brighten and can be a safety hazard if broken.  They contain a small amount of mercury so must be disposed of correctly.

Traditional incandescent light bulbs work by electricity being passed through a thin wire filament being heated, causing it to emit light. Due to this, they get very hot and emit 80-90% of their energy as heat.

As you can see, LED light bulbs are becoming the most favourable. Due to recent developments in technology, they are also much more affordable than they have been in the past, making them widely available to more people.

So, what are the main benefits of LED bulbs?

The main benefits of switching to LED bulbs is their lifespan, energy efficiency and long-term saving.

An LED bulb can be expected to last up to 50,000 hours as opposed to a traditional incandescent bulb which only lasts 1,000 hours. Therefore, the saving on cost and time to replace is second to none.

As the world becomes more socially conscious, there is no time like the present to consider how you could save more energy in your home. An LED bulb uses a much smaller wattage than any other bulb meaning that less energy is required to keep it running. This will result in a huge saving over time.

Opting for LED also allows you to cater your lighting to each room. You may want cool toned light in the kitchen to keep it bright and fresh but soft, warm lighting in the living room to create a cosy atmosphere. In order to achieve the correct ambience in your home, be sure to pay attention to the type of affect the bulb will give before purchasing.

Soraa and Philips offers a great range of LED bulbs, varying in affect and design with something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your domestic or commercial lighting, Point Electrical are always happy to offer their advice and assistance.  We can even provide you with a table to show the payback period which comes in handy when making business decisions.

Are they more cost effective?

Although it may be natural to reach for the cheapest option on the shelf, you need to consider whether this will help or hinder your bank balance, long term. The cost of a standard incandescent bulb tends to sit between £1 – £3. On the other hand, an LED bulb will cost on average between £3 – £6 or more depending on the type.

Upgrading to LED bulbs is a long-term investment that you will reap financial benefits from in the future. However, if the initial high cost puts you off, consider just switching your most used lights first, such as your kitchen and living room. You can then commit to changing all of them later down the line if you feel it is worth it.

Also, consider how likely it is that you will be living in your current house for the next few years. It may not be worth it if you are planning a move in the foreseeable future as you will just end up repeating the process.

Also be aware of the quality of LED lamps, as this can vary a lot. This is a subject in its own right so watch out for a blog article on this in the future.  But as they say, you really do get what you pay for. We recommend to never go cheap!

Final verdict…

Of course, the above reasons make this choice of bulb highly convenient, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. Less time will be spent worrying about mundane chores such as changing the light bulbs and, as a business owner, you will see it makes great financial sense in the long term. Plus, you will be contributing to saving the environment by using less energy each day.

If switching to LED is something you are interested in, get in touch to discuss your lighting options.

Protecting Your Business with Outdoor Security Lighting

As the days get shorter, it’s more important than ever to make sure your commercial premises remain well lit. Outdoor lighting prevents customers and staff from potential injury (and yourself from a lawsuit), and also protects your business against intruders after dark. Lighting could aid your security surveillance, and even remove or reduce the need for cameras simply by being switched on.

The higher price of more sophisticated lighting technology may seem less appealing to some. However, opting for a cheaper ‘on/off’ or timer switch lights means less protection after hours. Always remember that thieves and trespassers prefer to work under the cover of darkness; they’ll be less likely to enter a well-lit premises.

So what’s out there?

Everyone’s business is unique, and so are their requirements. This means that there are many different types of outdoor security lighting.

  • Halogen floodlights – historically the most commonly used floodlights, halogen lights are bright and affordable, making them an ideal choice when trying to keep costs down.
  • LED floodlights – whilst slightly pricier than the classic halogen bulb floodlights, LED floodlights use around 85% less power than their halogen counterparts and have a longer lifespan, which is why LED is swiftly overtaking halogen as the most popular bulb for outdoor security lighting.
  • Motion Sensor floodlights – Rather than humming away all night, motion sensor switches flick on when they detect movement nearby, and can be fitted to both halogen and LED bulbs. It’s true, they are more expensive than your basic on/off switch but they can save a huge amount of energy. This makes them a wise choice for a long-term investment.
  • Solar Powered floodlights – Instead of sourcing their energy from the mains electricity, these lights have their own fitted solar panels: another great way of reducing that energy bill.
  • Fluorescent floodlights – Energy efficient and long-lasting, fluorescent bulbs are the most commonly used for High Intensity Discharge lights. Able to throw out a bright wash of light covering a large area, HID lights are perfect for car parks and other wide-open commercial spaces.

Now you’ve got an idea of what’s available, here are a few important things to consider before making a purchase.

Finding the best price vs long term saving

A cheaper halogen bulb might seem more attractive at first glance. But consider the longer lifespan and greater efficiency of LED: without the need to keep replacing them, LED lights often save more money in the long run.

Similarly, combining a motion sensor with a fluorescent bulb is not advisable. Increased switching on and off can affect this particular bulb’s lifespan.

Health & safety vs energy efficiency

This is a difficult but crucial balance to strike when planning your security lighting. Of course, every business owner needs to find the most cost-efficient lighting solution. However, this can’t be at the expense of customer and staff safety. Motion sensors often make the most financial sense, but aren’t the best choice for areas with lots of footfall, in case of an accident.

Another example: fluorescent bulbs contain mercury (a highly toxic substance). This means taking extra care if bulbs are broken with people nearby, and careful waste disposal at the end of the bulb’s lifespan. These costly possibilities could be avoided with a different type of light that may be a better fit for your circumstances.

Need help finding the best option for your business?

The most effective strategy is to book a contractor to survey your premises, who can make a recommendation to suit your particular needs.

When it comes to outdoor security lighting, our engineers are committed to helping you find the perfect solution, tailored for your bespoke requirements. Contact us now for a quote, obligation-free.

Challenges of a Christmas Light Switch-On Event 

As Christmas approaches, light displays are beginning to go up in cities and towns around the country in anticipation of a big switch on over the next few weeks. For many, this is when the festive season really kicks off and they can begin counting down the days and making preparations.

Although an incredibly joyful time of year, it is also the time when electrical fires are most common due to illuminated decorations. In order to avoid injury and stay safe this Christmas, it is important to follow the appropriate procedures to ensure no dangerous electrical faults occur.

Main challenges

For large scale lighting displays, such as those that adorn our local towns, there are certain challenges that arise. Being placed in busy areas with hundreds of people walking by each day and night means that it is crucial that all the correct safety precautions are put in place.

The main challenges faced at these events include;

Ensuring electrical safety

Inputting electrical displays into a public arena comes with its risks. The insurance and responsibility of hundreds of people’s safety is a big task to take on, however, it is all worth it for the joy it can bring if done correctly. The main thing to ensure is that any outdoor, fixed electrical lighting is fitted by a registered, NICEIC approved electrician to guarantee that any display complies with the appropriate safety standards.

As your chosen electrician will know, any lights installed outdoors need to be designed for this purpose and be able to withstand extreme weather conditions. It is also a crucial requirement that all outdoor sockets are 30ma RCD (residual current device) protected. This means that if an incident occurs where the cable is cut or damaged, the entire flow of electricity will switch off to avoid shock or injury.

Crowd control

As hundreds of people gather in one place, there needs to be measures in place to manage these crowds. Road closure is necessary to allow room for entertainment and activities such as Christmas market stalls, food vans and funfair rides whilst ensuring the safety of large groups of children and adults. Voluntary wardens tend to be put in place to manage and instruct crowds regarding rules and social behaviour. Also, it is a good idea to have local authorities present to deal with any trouble that may occur.

Keeping energy efficient

When large scale lighting displays are installed all over the country, it is natural to be concerned about the amount of energy this will use. However, as systems develop, there are now plenty of options to ensure a large bill doesn’t rack up.

LED lights are the favoured option these days. They use much less energy and are longer-lasting than incandescent bulbs, lasting for 4,000+ hours. This type of bulb also offers multiple style options, whether you choose string lights to illuminate your shop fronts and trees or festive symbols affixed to the high street lamp posts.

The use of timers will also assist your town or village in saving energy this season. Programming the lights to turn on at dusk and switch off as soon as the sun rises will preserve energy and avoid waste.

Find your local light switch-on

Christmas lights in Oxford Street in London

Hertfordshire loves to celebrate the festive season and cater to all ages, friends and families.

Get these dates in your diary to ensure you don’t miss your local switch-on;

Hatfield – Saturday 16th November 

A Snow White themed event kicking off in the town centre across from White Lion Square, The Arcade and Market Place. 

St Albans – Sunday 17th November

Enjoy Santa’s Grotto, live music, food, drink and fun in the city centre.

Hertford – Friday 22nd November

Annual Christmas gala in the town centre from 3.30pm – 8pm.

Harpenden – Sunday 24th November

The Christmas Carnival is returning to the high street, lights will be switched on at 5pm.

Stevenage – Thursday 28th November

Festive fun and special guests from 4pm onwards in the Town Square. 

Hitchin – Saturday 30th November

Head to 27 Churchyard for a whole afternoon of fun, 12pm until 6pm. 

Or, if you want to go big this year, head to the capital and explore some of London’s best festive light displays.

Choose Point Electrical…

We offer high-quality and cost-effective commercial lighting services to suit your needs. Get in touch and choose us to ensure your Christmas light switch-on goes ahead as safely and efficiently as possible.

Is Your Business Ready for The Rise of The Electric Car?

Electric Car Parking SpaceThe rise of the electric car in the UK is rapidly gathering speed, literally and metaphorically! In a bid to reduce emissions the government has pledged that by 2030 at least half of all new car sales, and at least 40% of all new van sales, will be hybrid or electric. The provision of government subsidies has encouraged more and more car manufacturers to invest in the development of electric vehicles that are as cost-effective to produce as they are to use, and whose performance matches most standard fuel-powered vehicles. The trend for electric vehicles (EVs) has led to a huge rise in the number registered in the UK, from just 3,500 in 2013, to almost 250,000 as of September 2019.

How to get your business electric car ready

The rapidly escalating number of EVs brings with it the necessity for changes to infrastructure in order to provide the required charging stations for the number of vehicles on the road. Service stations across the UK have installed charging stations and charging points are increasingly found on roadsides and service parking bays. Additionally, more and more businesses are investing in the installation of electric car charging points, and are increasing the number of electric car spaces, for employee usage.

The benefits to your business

There are many advantages to installing car charging stations at your place of work:

  • The reduced emissions help your business reduce its carbon footprint and drastically improves energy efficiency
  • The rising cost of fuel means electric cars are a much more cost-efficient option, not to mention the fact that modern EVs are cheaper to produce – a particularly attractive benefit to businesses offering a company car scheme.
  • Businesses prioritising sustainable, forward-thinking and energy-efficient initiatives will be far more attractive to prospective customers and employees

Tesla Car Charging at a point installed on a high streetGovernment grants to support your business

The government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WPS) has been set up to incentivise businesses to install electric charging stations. The scheme, offered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, gives businesses a grant of £500 per charge point socket installed and up to a maximum of 20 sockets. So, businesses can benefit of a grant of up to £10,000 toward the cost of installing charging stations for their staff and customers.

Contact Point Electrical for your electric charge point installation

At Point Electrical our trained and certified contractors have extensive experience providing commercial electrical services.  We can provide expert advice on the location of your charging station, infrastructure required and the number of recommended charging points for the size of your business, and a detailed, transparent, no-obligation quote.

As with all our electrical services, our work comes with a 1-year guarantee, and is covered by our customer promise, giving you additional peace of mind.

Contact Point Electrical for a trusted, value for money service to help your business prepare for the rise of the electric car, for the benefit of your staff and customers.

How Will Brexit Affect Your Electricity Prices?

As the UK hurtles towards the Brexit deadline of 31 October, how is leaving the EU likely to affect your electricity prices?

Energy imports from the EU

Up to the end of 2018, the UK was importing around 5% of its electricity from the EU, and 12% of its gas. Energy is supplied via under-sea pipes and wires called interconnectors, and the UK has interconnectors with Belgium, France, Ireland and The Netherlands.

5% may not sound a lot, but this rose to an all-time high of 7% in the first quarter of 2019 after the opening of the interconnector with Belgium and the government intends to increase imports to around 20% by 2025 as it phases out our remaining coal-fired power stations. To that end, interconnectors with Denmark and Norway are being built and a further seven are planned. In short, the UK is becoming more and more dependent on imported energy.

Will my bills go up?

The leaked Operation Yellowhammer report suggests there could be a marked rise in energy prices for UK homes and businesses. Some of the reasons for this are:   Electricity power transmission

  • The absence of trade agreements governing the cross-border flow of electricity will end the frictionless trade we currently enjoy. The costs of any new tariffs imposed on the UK are likely to be passed on to consumers.
  • Transportation and import costs will rise if the UK leaves the EU Internal Energy Market.
  • The EU may reduce its investment in interconnectors with the UK.
  • The UK is currently part of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), which puts a price on carbon through trading of emission permits. Should we leave, a replacement carbon pricing mechanism could prove more costly.
  • The falling value of the pound against the euro could lead to an increase in the market price of electricity.

University College London produced a report which showed a £2 billion rise in UK energy bills after the 2016 referendum, as the pound fell sharply. That translates to a £35 annual increase on the average household electricity bill, with a predicted increase of a further £61 every year thereafter.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, also fears the worst. He said, “The lack of certainty around the future carbon-pricing mechanism as well as the rules underpinning the cross-border trade of electricity and gas create risk, and risk has a price. This situation is likely to create cost pressure that will feed through to customer bills.”

Energy shortages ahead?

Gas-fired power stations in the UK supply 42% of our electricity and much of that gas comes from Europe, so the race is on to increase renewable energy. While our windfarms performed well last winter, we still rely on power from our interconnectors to balance supplies during extreme weather or when wind and solar power is unavailable. Should the continent experience a prolonged cold snap, EU countries could restrict UK access to their energy stores in order to give priority to their own citizens, so it is possible that power shortages could ensue.

Can I protect against price hikes?

You may want to consider reviewing your domestic or commercial installation to make sure it’s as efficient as possible. Our expert engineers would be happy to assist. Contact us for further information.

Things to Consider When Renovating Your Shop

If you’re planning to renovate your shop, whether it’s for expansion, modernisation or simply to enhance your brand, here are a few things to consider to ensure you end up with a space that ticks all your boxes, justifies your investment, and wows your customers.

Design and planning

Designing a shop

The first and most important step, on which the success of the whole project will rest, is planning exactly what your renovation will look like. At this stage you will need to consider:

  • Objectives– Once you start making changes to your fixtures, fittings and décor it can be surprisingly easy to forget why you started the project in the first place. Whether you want to add space, achieve a better use of your existing space or simply upgrade and modernise, have your goals clear from the outset and always keep them in sight.
  • Budget– It’s easy for costs to escalate, so plan out and research costings for every element of your project to have the best chance of sticking to your budget.
  • Planning permission– If planning permission is required it will affect your budget and timescale, so check this way in advance of starting work, ensuring you give yourself plenty of time to account for all eventualities and any delays that may arise.
  • Book skilled contractors– Research and book your contractors in advance, ensuring you choose ones that have experience providing commercial electrical services, have the relevant certification and accreditation within their field, and provide a guarantee on their work.

Practicalities to consider

Once the overall project plan is in place, it’s time to think about the practicalities of your renovation, including: Commercial lighting

  • Fixtures and fittings– The style and materials of the fixtures and fittings you choose will have a big effect on the overall look and feel of your space and say a lot about your brand. If you’re looking to promote your environmental standpoint, for example, you may decide to feature furniture and fittings made of recycled, reclaimed and natural materials.
  • Practical use of space– When mapping out what goes where, think carefully about exactly how you want to use your space, and how you want your customers to navigate their way around. It’s worth considering the location of every shelf, plug socket and light fitting well in advance, because moving these later will cost you time and money. Choosing contractors experienced in commercial renovations will pay dividends, as they will have the knowledge, skills and experience to advise you on possibilities you may not have considered.
  • The wow factor– A key objective for any shop renovation will be to create a space that entices customers in a better way than your competition. So, check out what they’re doing, and think about how you can do it better! There are lots of ways to add that wow factor by considering your colours, décor and product placement, and how these can be enhanced with just the right commercial lighting. A well-lit window, and strategically placed spotlights can transform look and feel of your shop.

Choose Point Electrical for commercial electrical services you can rely on

At Point Electrical our professional NICEIC registered electrical contractors have years of experience working on commercial projects. We are excellently placed to provide the expert advice and skills needed to create your ideal space on time and in budget, whatever the size of your project. Contact us for a no-obligation quote for your shop renovation.

How to Keep Your Wires Organised at Work

If you’re finding your workspace dominated by a jumble of cables and wires, our easy-to-follow guide to effective cable management can help you create a safe, tidy and organised space you can be proud of.

Why it’s so important to keep wires organised

Beyond the obvious aesthetic advantages of having your desk space uncluttered by a tangle of messy cables and wires, there are a number of benefits to investing in office cable management:

  • Safety– unruly wires can be a tripping hazard and, over time, wires tangled together can suffer damage to the outer protective layer, leaving them exposed and unsafe.
  • A clean work environment –avoid the dust and dirt that settles on exposed cables.
  • Save time– no more having to navigate your way around cord clutter, and you can save the frustration of tracking and untangling cables when you need to unplug or move something.
  • Save money– instead of replacing devices that fail due to damaged cables, ensure your devices last longer and achieve maximum performance.
  • Look professional– a clean, tidy and uncluttered desk looks much more professional and impressive to clients than one surrounded by a tangled mess of wires.

Wire organisation solutions

Electrical wiresThere are a number of effective ways to get your office wires under control, and there are also a wide variety of products designed to meet specific cable management requirements.

  • Labelling – ensuring every cable is labelled will save time tracking individual wires when you need to unplug something and avoid the frustratingly common mistake of unplugging the wrong machine.
  • Power strip/plug management – if you have cables running from a variety of different plug points and extension leads, replacing these with one large, conveniently placed power strip will help keep wires in one place.
  • Hiding / storing cables –there are a number of solutions for safely gathering and hiding your cables so that they’re neat, tidy and out of view. Cable ties are ideal for gathering cables together, and cable sleeves are perfect for hiding them.
  • Shorten cables – once you have your cables neatly arranged, shortening any overly long cables will help to ensure that they all snuggle up nicely together at just the right length. But do not carry out any alterations if you are NOT qualified to do so.

Handy cable management/storage products

There are some nifty cable management products available that not only help to keep your wires under control, but also look good:

  • Cable sleeves– hide cables discreetly. Zippered cable sleeves are ideal if you want to be able to quickly and easily add and remove cables.
  • Quirky cordlets– adhesive holders you keep on your desk around which you can wind stray wires (USB leads, phone charger wires etc).
  • Cable clips– handy adhesive holders that sit on your desk for your individual computer cables to run through.
  • Velcro straps– for holding cables together.

Contact Point Electrical for a professional cable management solution

If you’re keen to tackle your office wires but have no idea where to start, appointing a commercial electrical contractor is the most effective way of ensuring the job is done quickly, effectively, and safely. Our experts have the skills and knowledge to advise on the best cable management solutions for your space, taking into account your individual requirements, and the latest and most effective storage solutions. Contact us for a no-obligation quote.

How to Become More Energy Efficient

Energy usage is a growing, global concern that is affecting us every day and could have even bigger implications on the environment and society in the future.

This energy use comes from multiple sources; home and work, transportation and industry in the form of fossil fuels as well as nuclear power, solar and biomass energy plus more. The main end goal and purpose of this is to produce electricity and gas to power the world.

How is energy use affecting the environment?

Using any form of gas or electricity requires large amounts of energy. When this energy is in motion, greenhouse gases are produced. This pollutes the air and causes damage to land, water, wildlife and public health, as well as global warming emissions. The effects of this are demonstrated in changing temperatures, damage to our ecosystems and a wilting planet that needs saving…and fast.

Why should I become more energy efficient?

Obviously worldwide energy use is a huge, intangible thing that one man alone is not going to be able to reduce. This is why there is no quick solution for minimising the impact it is having on the environment. However, small changes made by a large mass of people will start to make a difference and improve carbon footprint which will then hopefully encourage a lesser impact on the planet.

What can I do to make a change?

There are many steps you can take to reduce your individual carbon footprint and begin to also implement doing so into larger organisations such as your workplace, to make an even bigger change. The easiest way to do this is by making small changes around the home or workplace, reducing the amount of electricity you use and therefore the energy and money that you could be wasting.

At home:

  • Keep heating low – smart thermostats allow full control over when your heating is switched on meaning it is not wasted when you are not in.Installing a Home Automated Control System
  • Switch to LED bulbs – more efficient lighting options can reduce your energy use by half and save you money on your monthly bill.
  • Insulate your house – insulation in your loft, walls or floor is a worthy investment as your house will stay warmer for longer meaning you won’t need as much heating. This includes upgrading to double glazed windows!
  • Install a form of Microgeneration – using renewable energy is much healthier for the environment. Solar panels are most effective on south-facing roofs at an angle of 30 degrees. Or why not consider a wind turbine if your location allows it or if you’re lucky enough to live near a suitable river to have a water turbine installed!
  • Get an automated control system – These systems are very clever, but also budget dependent. An automated control system performs tasks such as only heating up certain rooms in the house. It can also turn off lights in unoccupied areas, turn down or off heating demands when a property is unoccupied and much more!

Although some of these suggestions may sound pricey at first, we can assure you that they are a worthy investment and you that you will save money and energy in the long run.

Our domestic electrical services include lighting control systems, installations and advice.

Cost Saving LightingAt work:

  • Switch off equipment when not in use – set your computer to sleep when not using it throughout the day when on break or in a meeting and ensure to fully shut down at the end of each day so nothing is running overnight. This also applies to other appliances such as the printer and air conditioning.
  • Update old equipment – old IT equipment can actually end up costing you more than upgrading to newer models as they tend to be more clunky and use unnecessary power to keep working.
  • Conduct an energy audit – regularly checking how much energy you are using will enable you to work better to reduce it and create a more efficient environment. You can even get a free audit from the Carbon Trust fund. To find out whether you are entitled to any government funding via the Carbon Trust, check out their Green Business Fund page here.
  • Promote sustainability – encourage others to change their habits, this could include recycling, reducing plastic use, printing less, walking/cycling to work etc.
  • Install a BMS system (Building Management System) – Either make small changes to your existing system or if possible, get a BMS system. We highly recommend BMS systems for new installations in particular.

To ensure you comply with workplace guidelines, our commercial electrical services include PAT testing, data cabling and installation of back-up generators as well as advising on electrical energy saving in your establishment.

How can I encourage others to be more energy efficient?

As previously mentioned, just one person making these changes isn’t going to have much of an impact. Encouraging the people around you to change their habits, whether it be family or work colleagues, will have a much bigger long-term effect on the environment and make a substantial difference.

At Point Electrical, we care just as much about providing efficient electricity use as we do about reducing carbon footprint. Get in touch to find out more about how our services can enable you to become more energy efficient.

How to Deal with a Power Cut in a Commercial Environment

Whatever the size and type of business you run, whether it’s office-based or retail, a power failure will likely have the same impact on your bottom line, your customers and your staff. With electrical systems now running the majority of organisations UK wide, it’s important to be aware of the potential impact an electrical outage could have on your business. Preparation and planning will help reduce its impact and ensure your business can recover quickly without incurring long-term problems as a result.

Prevention

While some power failures may be out of your control, it is also common for electrical faults to occur due to faulty equipment, lack of regular servicing of your electrical equipment, or faulty electrical installations by unregistered or unskilled contractors. The best way to prevent this happening is to choose electrical contractors that are skilled, reliable, and NICEIC approved to install and maintain your electrical systems, and to carry out regular inspections (EICR tests), ideally every 5 years.

Electrical Testing

Be prepared

As much as you can aim to prevent power failures from occurring due to problems with your own electrical systems, power cuts can occur due to extreme weather, power station faults and other issues outside of your control. Preparation is key to ensure that when a power cut does occur, the impact on your business is reduced as much as possible. Follow the checklist below to ensure you’re prepared:

  • Emergency lighting – Ensure that you have emergency lights installed and that they are regularly tested. Also, having flashlights readily available and accessible will ensure customers and staff can safely find their way.
  • Set up a power outage plan – it’s important to have this in place but also to make sure that all staff are aware of it to ensure it is followed accurately in the event of a power failure. This should cover:
  • Safety procedures – the safety of your staff and customers will be your immediate priority, so the plan should highlight roles and responsibilities to ensure customers and staff are able to safely navigate and exit the premises.
  • Informing your utility company – this should be a specifically allocated role to ensure one person is responsible for reporting the problem and liaising with your electricity provider to report on the likely timescale of the outage.
  • Equipment operations procedures – you should have procedures in place for the safe shutting down of equipment and how to access and operate emergency equipment (lighting, generator etc.).
  • Have a generator / UPS system in place – If a sudden failure of your electrical systems is likely to cause a loss of data or failure of key operating systems necessary for your business, you should consider having a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems in place so that in the event of a power cut, your systems can continue to run in the short term until they are shut down safely. For larger businesses, or businesses that need to ensure there is no interruption to electrical systems and services during a power cut, a generator will provide a longer-term backup system across multiple devices.

Choose Point Electrical for peace of mind

At Point Electrical, our qualified and Which? Trusted Trader recommended electrical contractors provide professional commercial and industrial electrical services for a wide range of businesses across all sectors and sizes. Contact us for advice and a no-obligation quote for electrical inspections and backup systems to prevent an electrical failure affecting your business.