UK Property Projects: Avoid cowboys

Did you know that rogue traders are taking advantage of vulnerable UK home homeowners who are under increasing pressure to meet soaring living costs? Rogue traders will try to tempt you with ‘last minute deals’, cash in hand’ deals and installation work that is not backed by guarantees/insurance to protect you.

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Beware, not only is this illegal as the work will not comply with the Building Regulations, but the work will ultimately cost more and create more hassle in the longer term when the installation work turns pear shaped.

How to avoid cowboy builders

  • Tip 1 – Always go by a recommendation.
  • Tip 2 – Qualifications often prove competence.
  • Tip 3 – Be very specific specifying the works you want carried out.
  • Tip 4 – Agree the price of the job before starting any works.
  • Tip 5 – Pick installers who specifically carry out the works you want.
  • Tip 6 – Minimise upfront payments.

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

How to read your smart meter and get the best from it

The major benefits of smart meters is that you no longer have to take manual readings, as your meter data is recorded automatically. Your smart meter is in constant communication with your energy supplier, ensuring that your energy bills are accurate and based on the most up-to-date figures – no more meter readings and no more estimates! However, if you would like to keep taking smart meter readings to keep an eye on your energy use, here’s how to manually read a smart meter.

Reasons to take a manual smart meter reading

  • You’ve switched energy providers and your smart meter isn’t compatible with your new supplier’s systems.
  • Stay in control of your energy use by setting budgets and comparing your energy use across the day/week/month.

How to manually read a smart meterSee the source image

If you prefer to take electricity and gas readings for yourself, here’s how you can check how much energy you’re using by reading your smart meter. You can read your smart meter by taking a look at your in-house smart meter display unit. This display will show you your daily, weekly or monthly energy use in terms of money, kilowatt hours and carbon emissions.

How to read a smart meter

Remember that when you got your new smart meter installed, the readings began from 0, so you will have a new set of readings – they won’t carry over from your old meter. Not all smart meters look exactly the same, but we’ve put together this guide that applies to most smart meters.

Your smart meter will generally display:

  • A budget market
  • Battery status
  • Time
  • Text area
  • Touch buttons
  • Light indicators
  • Costs and consumption
  • Fuel view
  • Energy display dial
  • Wireless signal strength
    how to read a smart meter

How to read a smart electric meter

Your electricity consumption is measured in kilo-watt hours (kWh), so this is the number you’ll need to look for. You won’t need to record the numbers after the decimal place. Here’s how to read different types of smart electricity meters

How to read smart electricity meter with a keypad

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  • Press ‘9’ on the keypad
  • A series of letter will appear
  • You’ll then see eight digits on the screen followed by the letters ‘kWh’.
  • These digits are your meter reading; in this case,

How to read an Economy 7 smart meter

This type of meter takes records day and night usage.
How to read an Economy 7 smart meter

  • Press ‘6’ on the keypad until the letters ‘IMP R01’ followed by eight digits appear (usually your night/off-peak reading).
  • Keep pressing ‘6’ until you see ‘IMP R02’ followed by eight digits (usually your peak/normal reading).
  • Use the digits ahead of the decimal points as you readings.

    How to take a smart meter reading if you have two buttons

    How to take a smart meter reading if you have two buttons

  • Press the ‘Display Select’ or ‘Display’ button.
  • The meter display will then scroll through to the meter reading.
  • Look for the number followed by kWh – this is your meter reading.

How to take an electric smart meter reading if you have A and B buttons

  • Press the A button
  • Keep pressing until you reach ‘TOTAL ACT IMPORT’.
  • The number shown below this is your meter reading.

OR

  • Press and hold the A button for at least two seconds.
  • Keep pressing A  to cycle through the displays.
  • The numbers you see followed by kWh is your meter reading

How to take a smart meter reading if your meter has 3 buttons

  • Press the button in the middle.
  • Your meter reading is the number shown below IMP.
  • If you have a two-rate meter, R1= Rate 1; R2 = Rate 2; T = total.
  • You can see all readings by pressing the middle button again.

If you have a button on the left and two buttons on the right:

If you have an orange button on the left and blue buttons on the right:

  • Press the single button.
  • You’ll see a row of digits with kWh – this is your meter reading.

How to read a smart gas meter

Both gas and electricity smart meters have a numerical keypad. Here’s what to do if you want to take a traditional meter reading:

How to read a gas smart meter if you have a keypad

How to read a gas smart meter if you have a keypad

  • Press 9 on the keypad.
  • You’ll see VOLUME on the screen
  • You’ll then see a row of digits followed by M3 at the bottom right – this is your gas meter reading.

 

How to read a gas smart meter if you have A and B buttons

How to read a gas smart meter if you have A and B buttons

  • Press the A button.
  • Keep pressing until you get to METER INDEX.
  • The digits shown below this is your meter reading.

    How to read a gas smart meter if you have a left arrow, a circle and a right arrow

    How to read a gas smart meter if you have a left arrow, a circle and a right arrow

  • Press the circle button in the middle.
  • Your screen will show ‘current meter reading’ at the top.
  • The row of digits followed by M3 is your meter reading.

How to read your smart gas meter if you have 3 square buttons

How to read your smart gas meter if you have 3 square red buttons

How to read your smart gas meter if you have 3 square red buttons

Your buttons may or may be labelled or unlabelled.

  • Press the button on the left.
  • You’ll see a row of digits followed by M3 – this is your smart meter reading.

How to read your smart gas meter if you have arrows to the right of the screen

How to read a gas smart meter

  • Press the arrow at the top.
  • You’ll see a row of digits followed by M3 – this is your meter reading.

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We hope that this guide is useful in helping you to take a manual meter reading from your smart meter and help you with home energy management to reduce your energy usage to save on energy bills and the environment, Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help!

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Thinking of buying a property?

Need help with residential and commercial property purchase/finance in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

How to turn your home into a luxury property for less

Fancy making your home a luxury property for less than you imagine? Get inspired by some tips in creating a glamorous living space;

Stunning  seating 

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A luxurious living room needs a variety of seating which is both comfortable and stylish, with the sofa being the centre of attention. Shop for a classic, well upholstered furniture with a look of timeless and a distinguished design like leather Chesterfields or clubSee the source image armchairs. If you got space then go for an ergonomic modular corner sofa. For the ultimate in decadent seating, choose a sumptuous chaise longue or a classic recliner leather armchair.

Luscious lighting

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With the right lighting, your living room will have a warn, intimate feel. Nothing shouts luxury more that a statement chandelier. This elegant form of lighting has a ‘wow’ factor and it doesn’t have to look traditional; there are plenty of striking contemporary designs available. You will need to supplement the chandelier with other forms of lighting, place wall lights on either side of a fireplace, table lamps around the edges of the room, and a floor lamps behind your main seating area. Use accent lighting to highlight favourite pictures, ornaments or other treasured objects.

Fabulous fabrics

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In a luxurious living room, you can really go to town with fabrics. Choose sumptuous velvet, satin, linen and silk rich in autumn colours like purple, raspberry or chocolate. If you prefer more subtle colours, go for sophisticated neutrals and muted tones of blue, coffee or grey. Pile the sofa high with cushions of different textures, the more the better, and add a soft throw or two to ring the changes. Dress your windows with extravagant full length curtains or softly folding Roman blinds in prints or plains.

Wonderful Walls

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Be bold with colour and pattern of wallpaper in your living room. There are amazing designs with striking patterns you can choose from such as over-sized florals on one feature wall or pick a subtle design for all your walls. Paint is still one of the cheapest ways to give rooms new look and it’s easy to create a luxurious effect using metallic shades on a feature wall, picking out decorative details with gold lustre, or adding stencilled patterns.

 Fantastic floors

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A beautiful, plush carpet will automatically make your living room feel and look luxurious adding pattern, texture, colour or elegance.  However, as this is generally a high traffic area, you need to get the balance right between durability and quality.

Accessorise

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No luxury living room is complete without a feature statement piece such as fireplace, mirror or artwork. Finish off by adding a bit of sparkle with gold vases, lampshades, diamante-edged photo frames and a mirrored table.

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Need help with property purchase in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

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How to identify damp in your house

Damp is one of the last things we want to face at home. It doesn’t matter if we’re a homeowner or a renter, it’s not a good thing. It can make a room feel cold, unwelcoming and unhealthy, and at worst it can mean structural or weatherproofing issues.

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Structural dampness is the presence of unwanted moisture in the structure of a building, either the result of intrusion from outside or condensation from within the structure. A high proportion of damp problems in buildings are caused by ambient climate dependent factors of condensation and rain penetration. Capillary penetration of water from the ground up through concrete or masonry is known as Rising Damp.

From condensation to penetrating damp and the dreaded rising damp, different types of damp present different problems, below is how you can identify defects that will cause damp in your house and fix them on time before they cause structural and health issues.

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Damp checks

  • Flashings at junctions to roofs and chimneys.
  • Uncapped pots to open chimneys.
  • Badly eroded mortar joints to brick or stonework in walls.
  • Leaking gutters, downpipes and overflow pipes.
  • Leaks around windows and door flames.
  • Windowsills that don’t project out from the wall sufficiently, or have eroded drip grooves underneath.
  • Garden shrubs or mounds of earth banked up against walls.
  • A lack of ventilation indoors allowing a build-up of condensation from steamy kitchens and bathroom.

 

Thinking of buying a property?

Need help with property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk