Useful Links

A collection of links to third party websites which may be of use. Of course, I make no guarantees regarding the availability or content of any external pages, portals and links. Information regarding these links was correct at the time of writing.

   

Choosing a reputable sparkie

   
NICEIC   When hiring an electrician, always look for accreditation with the likes of NICEIC. These good folk ensure people like me are qualified, insured, assessed, inspected and comply with their procedures. Avoid those 'trused trader' style web directories which offer no protection should things so sour, only affiliation with a proper trade association offers real protection.

For more information on NICEIC or to check if someone claiming to be a member really is such, you can visit their website at www.niceic.com
     
Registered Competent Person  
All reputable sparkies will be affiliated with an association such as NICEIC. Before hiring someone to perform electrical work, ensure they appear on the Registered Competent Person (Electrical) register to find out which organisation your preferred electrician is affiliated with. From July 2014, this all encompassing register took over from the likes of Electricsafe of which membership was voluntary. If your chosen sparkie doesn't show up on this site then they may not be qualified, competent or insured to be working on your installation.

For more information or to perform a look-up of an electrician, visit www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk
     
mcs    
If choosing a solar PV installer, they must be registered on the MCS database in order for the installation to be eligible for financial incentives such as the government's Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme. For more information or to check if an installer holds a valid MCS licence, visit the Microgeneration Certification Scheme website at www.microgenerationcertification.org
     
NICEIC   If a company claims to be a member of NICEIC, don't take their word for it. Look them up as described above. Those who have been caught out but continue to claim membership on their promotional materials can be found on the NICEIC Wall of Shame!
   
     
   

Electrical & environmental safety

   
ESF  
The Electrical Safety First charity (formerly the Electrical Safety Council) offer common sense advice and information including product recalls. They're well worth a visit at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk

   
Plugsafe  
PlugSafe is a volunteer organisation working with other bodies to fight the threats to the safety of the humble BS1363 UK plug & socket due to abuses and illegal counterfeits. Take a peek at www.bs1363.org.uk

   
DIYWIKI   A non-exhaustive list of the different types of electrical wiring you may come across domestically in the UK and what to watch out for with the older stuff. This might give you an indication of the kind of wiring in your home, but if you're concerned about the type, condition or suitability of your wiring then contact me for further investigation and advice.
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Historic_Mains_Cables
   
asbestos   When tackling any project that involves disturbance to the fabric of the building you ought to be aware of the dangers of asbestos, particularly on older installations. In the UK only homes built after year 2000 can be considered as asbestos free with older properties potentially containing the stuff in walls, ceilings, artex finishes, downpipes, panels and goodness knows where else. Links to organisations offering information and support include, but aren't limited to, NHS ChoicesCancer Research UK and the HSE
   
     
   

Local services

   
whitnashtc   Other businesses based in Whitnash, my neck o' the woods, can be found on the Whitnash Town Council's Business Directory.
www.whitnashtowncouncil.gov.uk/directory/
   
kahuti   Kahuti is a social network to help you connect with your immediate neighbours and share information on everything from lost cats to recipies to trusted tradespeople. You'll find me on there at https://www.kahuti.com/dses
   
WarksCC   Consumer advice from Warwickshire County Council with links to information on Trading Standards and the latest rogue trader scams known to be operating in this area. www.warwickshire.gov.uk/consumersafety
   
     
   

Suppliers, regulators & government boffins

   
WPD   Western Power Distribution are responsible for the grid here in Warwickshire. If you suspect a powercut, they have a postcode checker and live powercut map at  www.westernpower.co.uk/Power-outages/What-s-Happening.aspx
   
Ofgem   The UK energy regulator. www.ofgem.gov.uk/electricity
   
dbeis   The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (formerly the Department for Energy and Climate Change). https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy
     
WPD   Not sure who your energy provider is? Maybe you've bought or inherited a property, or perhaps an absent partner or spouse dealt with the utilities and they're no longer around. Whatever the reason, if you want to find who supplies the energy to a particular premises, Western Power Distribution have a look-up you can use here. https://t.co/RfRGg9PpiN 
   
     
   

YouTube and other sites of interest

   
youtube   Nothing says low, low production values and nowt of interest than my own YouTube channel, although it's still better than anything on daytime ITV.
   
JW   For those after something more interesting and professional, John Ward's YouTube channel provides some excellent advice, reviews and teardowns relating to electrical installations and appliances.
   
bigclive   The bigclive.com YouTube channel also contains interesting teardowns and reviews on electrical items and is well worth a look.
   
toolboxmonkey   M' old mukker Nigel runs a site reviewing the tools we sparkies like to use. You can find him at https://toolboxmonkey.com/
   
ET   The website of Electrical Times magazine. I have written some product reviews for them which were published in the February 2017 edition (Nightsearcher worklights), May 2017 edition (Boddingtons VDE tools) and September 2017 (Varilight dimmers). http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/