How to Use Solar Power Immersion Diverters for Hot Water

How to Use Solar Power Immersion Diverters for Hot Water

How to Use Solar Power Immersion Diverters for Hot Water
Image from My Energi of the Eddie Power Diverter

With energy prices rising, it’s never been more important to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. Solar power is a great way to do that, but it doesn’t solve the biggest problem of all this winter – hot water and heating.

Unless you have electric heating throughout your home, you’ll still need to pay to fire up the boiler whenever you need hot water. That’s a problem that solar power diverters can solve – here’s how…

Solar diverters – what & why?

Also known as a solar immersion diverter, a solar power diverter is a small piece of kit that’s fitted to your home’s electricity installation. As the name suggests, it diverts energy away from your home’s consumer unit after it has been sent there from your solar panels.

But why? In short, most homes don’t use all of the energy they generate from their own solar panels. That’s usually sent back into the national grid, for which you get a small payment as part of the Smart Export Guarantee.

Here’s the problem. The average cost of electricity per kWh is significantly more than what you’re paid for the energy you send back to the grid. From October 2022, electricity is capped at 34p per kWh, while the best Smart Export Guarantee is less than half of that at 15p per kWh.

So, it makes much more sense to keep the energy you’ve generated and use it in your home. That doesn’t mean switching on extra appliances to waste energy for the sake of it. Instead, using a solar immersion diverter, you can heat your hot water tank using any surplus energy from your solar panel system.

How it works

Solar power diverters work by monitoring the amount of electricity being generated by your solar panel system, compared to how much energy you’re using in your home. Normally, when your solar batteries are full, but your home isn’t using energy, you’d start exporting your energy to the grid.

With a solar diverter, that energy will be diverted to your hot water tank’s immersion heater. Essentially, it’s a way of using renewable energy for your heating and hot water – as well as your usual electricity usage.

If your home’s demand for energy increases, the diverter will automatically reduce its usage. That means there’s no impact on electricity for your home, as it’s still prioritised over solar diverter hot water.

Find out more about solar immersion diverters

Solar diverters are affordable, quick to install, and pay for themselves over time. They’re the perfect fit for any home with its own solar panels and a hot water tank (used for conventional and system boilers).

If you’d like to find out more about the options available or the installation process, Grants Electrical is on hand to help.  Our experienced electricians in Taunton can answer any questions you may have and provide a free, no obligation quote for a solar power diverter at your home. Call us on 07775 447 404 or email info@grantselectrical.com.


Gas vs Electric Radiators – Which is Best for You?

Gas vs Electric Radiators – Which is Best for You?

Gas vs Electric Radiators – Which is Best for You?

When the cold winter months come along, there’s nothing like staying in your nice, warm home. But with heating bills at an all-time high, many families are wondering whether they should swap their current gas radiators for more efficient options.

Gas vs electric radiators is a hot topic (quite literally) for more and more people in the UK. Read on to find out which is best for your home…

Electric radiators vs gas

Gas radiators are currently the most popular heating option in the UK. This kind of radiator is usually connected to a central boiler, which heats the water and makes it flow through to the radiator.

On the other hand, there are electric radiators. To be clear, we mean fixed radiators powered by electricity – not portable electric radiators which are known to be less effective. The most fundamental difference between gas vs electric radiators is that the latter provide heat without interacting with a central boiler.

But that is far from being the only difference between gas and electric radiators. To help you decide between both options, we have compiled the top 4 differences between electric and gas radiators…

1. Installation

To set up a gas radiator system, a gas engineer will have to install a full-blown central heating system with pipes, vents and ducts. The biggest downside to gas radiator installation is that it can take up to two weeks to be completed safely.

As you can imagine, such a complex installation is everything but cheap. You’ll also have a boiler taking up space somewhere in your home. In contrast, installing an electric radiator system can be completed in a single day.

2. Safety

In order to generate heat, gas boilers need to burn fuel. This poses a series of dangerous risks – such as carbon monoxide intoxication, fires and explosions. Unlike their gas-powered counterpart, electric radiators don’t need to generate heat by burning fuel. This makes them a much safer option for all kinds of households. That being said, you should always ensure that your electric heaters have been installed correctly to avoid potential hazards.

3. Cost

While gas is cheaper than electricity on a per-unit basis, you also need to consider the cost of certain additional factors. To start with, the installation costs of an electric radiator is almost non-existent compared to gas radiators. On top of that, electric radiators last up to 50% longer than gas radiators. And because they don’t need to be serviced as often as gas radiators, the maintenance is a lot cheaper too.

4. Efficiency

Because some heat is always emitted into the air during the fuel combustion process, not even the best gas boiler on the market is 100% efficient. To make things worse, gas boilers get more inefficient with the years – to the point where a 10-year-old boiler will lose 20% of the heat it generates.

When it comes to efficiency, electric heaters also have the upper hand. Because they work via a straightforward heat transfer with no combustion, they will always turn 100% of the electricity they use into heat.

Electric vs gas radiators – the verdict

Because they’re safer, more efficient and even space-saving, electric radiators come out on top for most homes. If you want to unlock all of those benefits, Grants Electrical can help.

We install efficient electric radiators in Taunton and the surrounding areas. To find out more or get a quote, call us on 07775447404 or email info@grantselectrical.com.


Are There Any Disadvantages of Electric Heating?

Are There Any Disadvantages of Electric Heating?

Are There Any Disadvantages of Electric Heating?

More and more people are making the switch to electric heating. And it’s not hard to see why. With gas prices higher than ever, homeowners are on the lookout for new ways of trimming down their energy bills. And that’s where electric heating comes in.

However, not everyone is convinced of the benefits – instead looking for disadvantages of electric heating. There are still a few sceptics who claim that it’s more expensive and less efficient than gas heating. But are they right? Let’s find out…

Myth-busting the supposed disadvantages of electric heating

The electric heating industry is growing bigger by the day – and so are certain misconceptions associated with it. To dispel all these myths once and for all, let’s dig deeper into what are generally believed to be the main disadvantages of electric heating…

Electric heating is more expensive

This claim rests on a half-truth – that the average cost per unit of gas is lower than that of electricity. We don’t dispute that (although the gas crisis is pushing up the cost of gas to an all-time high).

But what this claim fails to mention is that electric heating systems barely involve any substantial installation costs. And, unlike gas boilers, electric heating doesn’t require yearly servicing and maintenance.

On top of all that, the average working life of a boiler is ten years – whereas a good electric radiator can last up to 20 years. So sure, electricity is slightly more expensive than gas per unit (for now). But in the long run, gas heating will put a bigger dent in your savings.

Electric heating is not very efficient

While it’s true that brand-new gas boilers are more efficient than they were a few decades ago, gas boilers are still miles away from reaching the degree of efficiency of electric heating. Sure, gas will heat your home quicker. But they will also lose a lot of energy in the meantime.

On average, a 10-year-old boiler will have lost up to 30% of its efficiency – compared to 0% with a 10-year-old electric radiator. This means that you’ll end up paying for gas that you’re not even using.

Electric heating is dangerous

We’ll keep it short and sweet – electric radiators are the safest heating option you can install inside your home. When people claim that electric heating is dangerous, they’re usually referring to portable electric heaters. And they’re right. In the UK alone, almost 1,000 fires have been caused by portable electric heaters in the past 5 years.

But electric radiators are a completely different kettle of fish. Because they don’t rely on fuel ignition, electric radiators completely eliminate the risk of fuel leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Embrace the future of heating

Sick and tired of constant boiler breakdowns and rising gas prices? It’s time for you to see past the mistaken disadvantages of electric heating and make the switch.

At Grants Electric, we can provide you with state-of-the-art smart electric radiators that will keep your family warm 365 days a year. Want to find out more? Just ring us on 07775 447 404 or email info@grantselectrical.com for a no-obligation quote.


5 Electric Heating Advantages You Can’t Ignore

5 Electric Heating Advantages You Can’t Ignore

5 Electric Heating Advantages You Can’t Ignore

Gas boilers have been the go-to source of heating for several decades. But not anymore. In the past few years, electric heating has become an increasingly popular option for properties across the UK.

Why? It’s very simple – in a nutshell, electric heating provides all the benefits of gas boilers without some of the disadvantages. Let’s unpack that a little bit more…

What are the main advantages of electric heating?

Are you sick and tired of having to pay someone to repair your boiler every winter? Worried about the environmental effects of gas heating? Or simply looking to trim down your bills as energy prices skyrocket?

If the answer to any of the questions above is yes, then you should seriously consider making the switch to electric heating. To hammer the point home, let’s break down our five favourite electric heating advantages.

1. It’s cheaper than gas in the long run

To start with, gas heating systems have a much higher installation cost than electric heating. And unlike gas heaters, electric heating barely requires any maintenance. Waving goodbye to rip-off boiler service fees will lift a heavy weight off your wallet. Not to mention that electricity prices will only get cheaper as renewable energy becomes more prevalent.

2. It’s more efficient than gas

Electric heating is the most efficient heating system currently available on the market. An electric heater uses every single watt of power and converts it into heat. This means all the electricity you pay for is actually turned into heat. With a boiler, around 15% of the energy is wasted between fuel and pipework.

3. It’s completely safe

Safety is another of the top electric heating advantages. Because electric heaters don’t burn fuel to generate heat, all the safety risks commonly associated with heating systems are immediately brushed aside. With electric heating, you’ll never be in danger of fire, gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning.

4. It’s easy to install

As there’s no need for pipework to be carried out on the property, an entire electric heating system can be installed in a matter of hours. All that is needed is to connect the heaters to the electrical circuit – meaning that they can be installed during the electrical second fix phase for new properties.

5. It’s ecological

Gas is the UK’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. With the UK targeting net zero emissions, chances are that additional taxes will be imposed on homeowners with gas boilers in an attempt to make them transition to a greener alternative. Unlike gas boilers, electric heating does not emit polluting gases. And as more wind and solar farms are built across the country, electric heaters will be increasingly drawing power from completely renewable energy sources.

The future of heating is only one click away

Want to enjoy the various electric heating advantages? Making the switch to affordable heating has never been easier. At Grants Electrical, we install reliable, energy efficient electric radiators in Taunton and the surrounding areas.

With our smart electric radiators, you’ll help both the environment and your wallet. Want to find out more? Call us on 07775447404 or email info@grantselectrical.com for a no-obligation quote.


Which is Cheaper – Gas or Electric Heat?

Which is Cheaper – Gas or Electric Heat?

Which is Cheaper – Gas or Electric Heat?

With energy bills higher than ever, more and more people are trying to find new ways to cut down on their home heating expenses. With this in mind, many homeowners are thinking about changing their entire heating system. So, which is cheaper – gas or electric heat? Let’s break both of them down…

Gas vs electric heat – a quick overview

Before we go into further detail, it’s worth explaining the main differences between gas heat and electric heat.

With gas-based heat, a boiler burns fuel to heat water. This hot water is then spread throughout a home’s radiators or in pipes placed under the floorboards. As the pipes and/or radiators get hotter, they bring your house’s temperature up through radiation. This heating system goes all the way back to the mid-19th century.

On the other hand, electric heating works in a far simpler way. It relies on separate heating appliances in each room. Each device converts an electric current into heat, allowing greater control over the temperature of each room. Because they don’t rely on a central boiler, electric heat allows for better scheduling and customisation options.

When it comes to convenience, electricity has the upper hand. But is it cheaper to heat a house with gas or electricity?

Is gas heat cheaper than electric?

The sweet and short answer is no, it isn’t. While it’s true that gas is a cheaper per-unit energy source than electricity, electric heating is a lot more efficient – making it more cost-effective in the long run. Why? It’s simple. With electric heating, every single watt that your electric device converts into heat is used. With gas heating, an estimated 50% of energy is wasted.

Even better, the vast majority of modern electric appliances are fitted with individual thermostats. This means that you can manage your heaters on an individual basis. Maybe you don’t want the heating in your kitchen to be on? Or you want your living room to be nice and toasty for when you come home after work? With a smart electric heating system, all it takes is a few taps on your phone.

Installation and maintenance costs

Apart from being more efficient, electric heating is a lot cheaper and easier to install. While it can take several days to install a new boiler safely, you can get an entire electric heating system up and running in just one day.

Compared to a gas boiler, electric heating is basically maintenance-free, as there’s no fuel combustion involved in the process – also making it a lot safer. And that’s not even going into the costs of replacing a boiler. On average, a new boiler will cost you £1,500 – £3,000 – with installation costs close to an extra £1,000. That’s at least twice the average electric heater installation cost, which is around £500.

Trusted electricians at your service

Do you want to make the switch to affordable heating? Look no further than Grants Electrical. As expert electricians, we can install efficient electric radiators in your Somerset home quickly and safely. If you want to hear more, ring us today on 07775447404 or email via info@grantselectrical.com for a no-obligation quote.


Replacing Storage Heaters with Electric Radiators

Replacing Storage Heaters with Electric Radiators

Replacing Storage Heaters with Electric Radiators

More and more people are replacing their old storage heaters with electric radiators. Why? The short explanation is that storage heaters have become outdated. Apart from being easier on the eye, modern electric radiators are a lot more energy-efficient than storage heaters.

To start with, most of them have built-in timers and thermostats. This means that you can control the temperature and even turn them off automatically at a certain time. On top of that, they barely waste any energy – saving you money in the long run.

Put simply, replacing storage heaters with electric radiators is a no-brainer. Here’s how to do it…

How to replace a storage heater with an electric radiator

We’ll start with the good news – installing an electric heater is a fairly easy task. The bad news is that removing a storage heater isn’t. Unfortunately, it’s not just a matter of disconnecting them from the wall and putting an electric radiator in their place. If you want to remove your old storage heater, you’ll need the help of a licensed electrician who knows what they’re doing.

Storage heaters come hardwired into walls via a special socket that tells your energy provider whether you’re using energy at peak or off-peak times. This makes them tricky to remove. On average, a professional electrician will spend around 1-2 hours to remove a single storage heater. This means that a full house upgrade can take a couple of days.

To make things worse, storage heaters are essentially metal boxes full of bricks – making them extremely heavy. A relatively light storage heater will weigh around 50kg – with sturdier models in the region of 300-400kg. All in all, it’s not a DIY job.

Fortunately, certified electricians know their way around storage heaters and can remove them safely…

Replacing storage heaters – a short guide

  • Firstly, your electrician will have to remove and rewire off-peak circuits, as well as convert storage heater sockets to regular sockets. This will allow you to install your new electric radiators in the same place where your old storage heaters were. If you would like your radiators to be in a different place, make sure you let your electrician know as soon as possible.
  • Once the traditional sockets are in place, your electrician will earth the electricity. In some cases, they will also have to install circuit breakers. This is a standard security measure that prevents overheating, protecting you from overloading and short-circuiting. After this step, your electrician will test and certificate the new socket.
  • It’s time for your new electric radiator to be installed. First, your electrician will drill a few holes and secure mounting brackets in the wall. Then, they will hang the radiator on the wall and screw in the safety screws on the top of the mounting brackets for extra safety.

The future of electricity is just one click away

When it comes to replacing storage heaters, DIY just won’t cut it. But don’t worry – Grants Electrical is here to help throughout Somerset. Our expert electricians in Wellington can install modern electric radiators in your home quickly and safely. Want to hear more? Get in touch today on 07775447404 or email via info@grantselectrical.com for a no-obligation quote.


4 Types of EV Chargers

4 Types of EV Chargers

4 Types of EV Chargers

Keeping your car on the go is vital, so it’s important to understand the different types of EV chargers and where you’ll be able to use them.

Charging an electric vehicle is very different to filling up a petrol car, and certain chargers will be more suitable than others. So, read on to learn more about the 4 types of EV chargers.

1. Slow chargers

As the name suggests, slow chargers or ‘granny chargers’ are the slowest type of EV charger – charging at a rate of 3kW to 6kW. Slow charging can take upwards of 12 hours to complete, so it’s a good option for overnight charging. Generally speaking, you’ll find slow chargers at home or sometimes at your workplace. Lamp post EV chargers are usually also slow charging.

Whilst plugging your charger into a domestic socket can work as a slow charger, charging in this way is considerably slower than other (already slow) methods and can pose a higher risk of fire or electric shock. Installing a dedicated EV charger is the best option. Slow chargers are usually untethered, so you’ll need your own charging cable to use them.

2. Fast chargers

Out of all the types of EV chargers, fast chargers are the most commonly used in the home. You’ll also find these chargers when you’re out in town – as many are located in shopping centre and supermarket car parks, for example. Fast charge points typically range between 7kW and 22kW, and can charge your car in around 8 hours.

Fast charging is ideal for when you’re at home or out-and-about. The majority of fast charging points are untethered, but some are tethered, so you’ll need to be sure of the connector’s compatibility with your EV.

3. Rapid chargers

Rapid chargers are where things get really speedy. Some rapid chargers can charge an EV to 80% within 30 minutes, taking between 40-50 minutes to fully charge. That makes them perfect for when you need a quick top-up on the road.

Rapid chargers use a lot of power, so they’re not suitable to be installed in homes. Instead, you’ll usually find them in service stations and certain car parks. All rapid chargers are tethered, so you’ll need to ensure the one you use is compatible with your EV.

4. Ultra rapid chargers

Offering the fastest charging capabilities, ultra rapid chargers are rated 50kW+, and in many cases reach over 100kW. These ultra-fast chargers are rarer to find, though they may be available at larger service stations. More and more ultra rapid chargers at higher charging capabilities are popping up across the country, with some as high as 350kW.

EV charger installation for your home

There are many types of EV chargers, but the most convenient type is the one you can make use of at any time. Home EV chargers are easy to use and perfect for overnight charging, allowing you to cut down on charging costs.

Interested in a no-obligation quote? Our professional, OLEV-authorised installers will advise you on the best EV charger for your home, then arrange a convienient time for a quick, no-hassle installation. Get in touch with our expert team on 07775447404 or email via info@grantselectrical.com.


6 Benefits of an EV Charger for Your Home

6 Benefits of an EV Charger for Your Home

6 Benefits of an EV Charger for Your Home

With the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars fast approaching, now is as good a time as any to install an EV charger for your home.

Not convinced? Read on as we look at seven clear benefits of a home EV charger.

1. Running costs

First and foremost, having an EV charger at home allows you to minimise the cost of charging your car. While fuel stations and service stations will charge a premium to use their chargers, you’ll only be paying for the cost of electricity you use at home. According to the RAC, you could save between £2 to £5 per charge. That adds up to £104 to £260 each year if you charge your car once a week.

2. Speed

Compared to charging your car from the mains, having a dedicated EV charger for your home is much quicker. Mains EV chargers are also known as ‘granny chargers’ because of their age and (lack of) speed. They take between 17 and 39 hours to get your battery full, depending on the model. That’s cut to between 6 and 13 hours for most vehicles with a standard home EV charger.

3. Convenience

Charging your car at home is undoubtedly more convenient than the alternatives. It’s much easier to plug in at home than travel to a fuel station. It’s also simpler to plug into a proper EV charger that’s located near your car, instead of rolling out extensions to plug your car into an outdoor socket.

4. Range

When you charge at home, you can leave it for a full charge. As demand continues to outpace infrastructure, service station chargers are increasingly met with queues waiting to use them. Many people will feel pressured to move on before their battery is full, resulting in a lower range for their car before the next charge is due.

5. Longevity

While superfast chargers might be convenient when you’re out and about, they don’t go hand in hand with a long battery life. Fast charging puts too much current into your electric vehicle’s battery, causing it to decline faster over time. Using an EV charger at home gets you that little bit more out of your battery’s lifespan.

6. Value

Having an EV charger for home use will also increase the value of your property. That’s already true now, with the majority of 16-49 year-olds planning to make the switch. But it will become more applicable as time goes on and electric vehicles become the norm. By that point, home EV chargers will be a must-have for all drivers (and the majority of homebuyers too).

Get an EV charger quote for your home

Whether it’s to cut down on costs, make your life easier, or maximise your car’s range, home EV chargers are a win-win (and a few more wins). Grants Electrical can help you reap all of those rewards with EV charger installation for homes across Somerset.

Based in Wellington, our OLEV-authorised installers can advise on the best charger for you with a free, no obligation quote. We’ll then provide a quick, top-rate installation at a time and date that suits you. Sound good? Give us a call on 07775447404 to get the ball rolling.


House Rewire Chippenham

Rewiring your home

House rewires, when are they needed and how do I know? We explain the process, when you should rewire your house and when it is necessary.

A new house rewire will also include a new consumer unit to the current BS7671 Wiring Regulations and an Electrical Installation Certificate lasting 10 years.

The only way to be sure if your house needs to be rewired is to have a registered competent Electrician test the full fixed electrical installation in your property. This is called an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and depending on the size of your property, can take anything from between 4 hours to multiple days. Most 3 bedroom Semi-Detached houses will take roughly 8 hours to carry out a full and comprehensive EICR. A 7 page document will then be issued clearly reporting on the condition of the fixed wiring within the dwelling and what work, if any, are required.

From this point, you will have a better idea of the age, condition and ultimately the safety of your electrical installation and if it is time to have your house rewired or not. It can also give you an indication if any parts of the installation can be saved, and you could possibly only require a partial rewire.

What is a Partial Rewire?

One example of a partial house rewire, would be rewiring the ground and first floor lighting. This could be due to there being no circuit protective conductor (cpc) which is your earth. The wiring for the remainder of the circuits can (and most often is) satisfactory for this age of wiring. This could be an option, but then there are other factors to take into account.

How old is my Electrical Installation?

The general rule of thumb is that you can expect the wiring within an electrical installation to last around 50 year. So currently, anything post 1980 may require attention. That's not to say any installation pre 1980 requires a rewire, it's just a good indication and would subject to an EICR and it's findings.

When is a good time to rewire my house?

Should you be moving to a new home, this is always a good time to think about getting your house rewired and at the very least tested with an EICR issued on completion. The house can be rewired before you move your furniture etc in, meaning the contractors can work at a faster pace and there's the added bonus of not having your furniture in the house with the dust (house rewires can be a dusty affair!). Any 'chases' can be made good as you go through and decorate each room to your taste once you have moved in but most importantly you move into a home knowing the installation is safe and will last a considerable length of time.

Moving Home:

We always advise an EICR is produced or an Electrical Installation Certificate showing a rewire or a consumer unit (fuseboard) upgrade within the last 10 years. Getting a second opinion on the test results within the certification is always prudent and advised.

We've carried out many house rewires in Wellington, Taunton and across Somerset and you can see some of out feedback on checkatrade.com/grantselectrical

You can also check out our Gallery for photos of recently completed and ongoing house rewires at https://grantselectrical.com/gallery/


Electrical Safety in The Home

Electrical Safety in The Home

Your electrical installation should be checked every 10 years by a qualified electrician, but what about in-between times?

We all use electricity in our homes every day without thinking about how safe it is. But the campaigning charity Electrical Safety First estimates that around 70 people are killed, with 350,000 seriously injured annually due to an electrical accident in the home.

For this reason Which? Trusted Traders called us in to help with an article for their website to highlight the regular checks you should be performing on your electrical systems to ensure they are safe.

Read the full article and find out our tips on Electrical Safety in the Home >>