10 Benefits Of The Backyard Office – The Ideal Work From Home Solution?

When you decide to work from home, creating the right environment can be tough. You need Here are 10 key benefits:a space that’s quiet, but also productive. A backyard office might be your perfect solution.

1) Moving your workspace into the backyard promotes a healthier work-life balance. You trim commuting out of your schedule, leaving more time for family, fitness, housekeeping, and indulging personal interests and hobbies. The net result is a greater feeling of fulfilment and a more satisfying life.

2) While a home office also delivers this better balance between your personal and professional lives, it doesn’t do so with great efficiency. Sharing space between work and home simply invites clutter and distraction. Build a dedicated workspace for yourself and you ensure that your working hours remain efficient and productive. This actually applies to all sorts of backyard buildings, not just offices: You’ll keep things more organized and efficient when you build a dedicated space for working, crafting, or indulging any sort of hobby.

3) There is also a reverse angle to consider. Getting your work papers mixed up with the latest load of laundry is not a recipe for a blissful, balanced work from home career. Moving your work out of the house will be much appreciated by your family members. (It has a positive effect on your own peace of mind, too!) The small degree of separation a backyard office gives you is priceless. You maintain control of the divide between work and family life and keep these two spheres from interacting in negative ways.

4) Backyard offices can be built to be extremely healthy environments. A well-constructed timber office building is good for both body and mind. Timber construction maintains healthy, comfortable levels of temperature and humidity. Some research even suggests that wooden surroundings help alleviate stress symptoms. While it’s not a guarantee of a blissful working life, a timber backyard office can make you feel like it’s easier to cope with whatever comes your way.

5) A standalone backyard office can be surprisingly affordable. Even ambitious designs are, as a general rule of thumb, cheaper to build than an addition that increases the space in your existing home by an equivalent amount. Visit Quick-Garden.co.uk to see the extensive range. Backyard offices are also much faster to get built. You can office design, build, and furnish a backyard office in less time than it will take to get the permits for building an extension.

6) For serious work at home professionals, a backyard office has significant economic advantages over renting office space. While facility costs vary widely around the country, it is essentially impossible to find usable professional space for anything less than $300 per desk per month. The much lower cost of a backyard office can recoup its entire construction cost within a year simply through rent savings.

7) There’s also an economic advantage to be seen in keeping your home office comfortable. If you work inside your home, you’re spending a lot to keep the air conditioning or heating running all day. It is much cheaper to heat or cool one small backyard office. You can push these savings even further if you invest in energy-efficient construction methods.

8) Building a backyard office offers you great long-term flexibility. If your needs change in the future, it would be simple to convert a backyard office into something else — a summerhouse, a home gym, a workshop, and so forth. In fact, if you have the space and the budget, you can build your timber backyard office to accommodate multiple rooms and multiple functions from the ground up.

9) Depending on how you work, a backyard office may offer significant tax benefits. If you are self-employed and run your business as a sole proprietorship, you may be able to claim some or all of the cost of building a backyard office as a business expense. Other professional arrangements, like incorporation, offer you the opportunity of renting your backyard office to your business for perpetual savings. Consult with an accountant to find the most favourable tax position to take.

10) There is a quite simply unique feeling of personal ownership to moving your professional work into a backyard office. Building a better work-life balance and saving money are fine benefits, but they aren’t enough reason on their own to build a backyard office. Your office can and should be an exclusive space designed expressly for your own needs. It delivers all the comforts and conveniences of indoor life while still allowing you to work very close to nature. When you build a timber backyard office, you have a chance to create a building just for yourself. The result can be a beautiful and uplifting space, an office you can be proud of, a building that makes you happy every time you go into it.

If you’re ready to unlock all these benefits by building a timber backyard office, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to further expand your knowledge on the subject and layout all the great options available to you.

Subject access requests

General Data Protection Regulation

Subject access requests (SARs) under General Data Protection Regulation (2018) give an individual the right to obtain a copy of their personal data as well as other supplementary information. It helps individuals to understand how and why an organisation is using their data, and check if the organisation is doing it lawfully.

Access to personal information

What you need to provide us with:

  • a timeframe you need the information for,
  • your full name, and
  • your original signature (not needed for online and email requests).

If you would like to make a Subject Access Request please email FOI@ofgem.gov.uk (or ECO@ofgem.gov.uk if the request is related to ECO schemes) or alternatively, write to us at:

Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information Officer

10 South Colonnade

Canary Wharf

London

E14 4PU

You can also contact us to make a SAR request in an oral format on 020 7901 7295.

In most cases there will be no fee associated with a subject access request.

We endeavour to complete a SAR within the statutory one calendar month limit, or within three calendar months under a permitted extension, starting from the first working day after which the request was received. 

How Businesses Can Adopt Environmentally Friendly In-House Solutions

There is no doubt that businesses across the United Kingdom are undertaking serious efforts to reduce their overall carbon footprints. This is an excellent way to save a great deal of money monthly energy costs and it is also beneficial in terms of publicity. When we likewise consider that there are a number of green incentives available from the government, it only stands to reason that owners are interested in what solutions are currently available. Let us look at a handful of professional suggestions before examining some surprising digital alternatives which can provide viable results.

Embracing Modern Technological Innovations

Smart technology is here to stay, and for good reason. It increases current levels of in-house efficiency and provides employees with a more agreeable workplace. These very same innovations have now been integrated into numerous climate control systems. For example, platforms are available which can sense the occupancy levels of individual rooms. In the event that no employees are present, the lights will automatically be dimmed. The same holds true in regards to zoned thermostats. Why heat or cool an entire office when only a portion is currently occupied?

There are likewise some rather straightforward steps which management and team leaders can embrace in order to reduce energy costs over time. Some worthwhile tips include:

  • Installing LED fixtures in favour of fluorescent bulbs.
  • Dimming computer screens in order to reduce aggregate power consumption.
  • Making certain that all appliances (such as those within a break area) have been certified for their energy efficiency.


All of these changes can be enacted within a short period of time, so there is no reason why they should not be implemented. It might also be wise to speak with your current energy supplier to determine if there are any additional ways to reduce your overall carbon footprint.

Surprising Suggestions to Keep in Mind

You might be surprised to learn that some of the best energy-saving suggestions are not necessarily involved with physical changes and upgrades around the office. For example, did you know that adopting a more efficient enterprise ecommerce platform can reduce your consumption of mains electricity? Why is this the case?

Imagine for a moment that an in-house IT department is having difficulty upgrading their online architecture or they have already spent hours attempting to engineer a more effective point-of-sale system within your existing website. Not only will this cost additional man-hours, but let’s remember that the associated energy consumption is just as much of a concern. Migrating to a more targeted and streamlined package is, therefore, a wise choice. The same holds true in regards to power banks, networking solutions and VoIP systems.

Reducing overall energy consumption should represent a very real concern for any business. Implementing seemingly minor changes can have a dramatic effect and such savings will eventually be passed on to the customer. Please do not hesitate to refer back to this article as a quick guide when enacting such suggestions.

Contacts, guidance and resources

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) will be available from 1 January 2020. Some suppliers may already have information available on their websites about their participation in the SEG.

SEG Licensees (electricity suppliers) are obligated to publish their status as a SEG Licensee where it is easily accessible, so it is assumed that Generators will be able to find this information easily.

Generators should contact SEG Licensees in the first instance for information on the SEG. 

Please visit our contacts page to find details on contacts within Ofgem.

For a full list of our publications, visit the publications library.

Electricity suppliers

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) requires certain licensed electricity suppliers to offer a tariff and make payment to small-scale low-carbon generators for electricity exported to the National Grid, providing certain criteria are met.

These suppliers have specific obligations under Conditions 57 and 58 of the Standard Conditions of the Electricity Supply Licences ("the SLCs").

All licensed electricity suppliers are required to participate in declaring their SEG status on an annual basis.

Becoming an SEG Licensee

Licensed electricity suppliers are only obligated to provide SEG payments to generators if they are confirmed to be an SEG licensee.

By 14 February of each SEG year all licensed electricity suppliers must notify Ofgem whether in the next SEG Year they will be a:

  • Mandatory SEG licensee, if they have at least 150,000 domestic electricity customers as at 31 December of the immediately preceding year. These licensees are obligated to offer payment to certain eligible generators.
  • Voluntary FIT licensee, if they have fewer than 150,000 domestic electricity customers and elect to participate in the SEG arrangements.
  • Non-SEG licensee, if neither of the above apply. Non-SEG licensees can still make export payments to generators, but will not be bound by the SEG arrangements.

The status will then apply for the duration of the relevant year (1 April - 31 March) in which they enter.

Note that for the first SEG Year running for the period 1 January - 31 March 2020, Ofgem will set up a process for licensees to advise Ofgem of their status under the SEG during that year.

Need help?

We will provide guidance on the role of licensed electricity suppliers in Autumn 2019.

Generators

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) enables small-scale low-carbon generators to receive payments from electricity suppliers for electricity exported to the National Grid, providing certain criteria are met. The SEG starts on 1 January 2020.

Which technologies are eligible for SEG?

There are five eligible low-carbon technology types. These are:

  1. Solar photovoltaic (solar PV)
  2. Wind
  3. Micro combined heat and power (CHP)
  4. Hydro
  5. Anaerobic digestion (AD)

These installations must be located in Great Britain and have a total installed capacity (TIC) of no more than 5MW, or no more than 50kW for Micro-CHP.

What other eligibility requirements are there?

In order to guarantee a tariff from a supplier, generators will need to meet the following criteria:

  • The installation will need a meter capable of measuring the electricity exported to the grid at half-hourly intervals. 
  • Solar PV, Wind and micro-CHP installations up to 50kW should be installed by a certified installer on the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or an equivalent scheme.
  • AD and Hydro installations, and Solar PV and Wind installations above 50kW should meet the same standards as those required by an MCS or equivalent scheme.
  • AD installations will need to meet sustainability criteria and feedstock restrictions, administered by Ofgem.

In addition, generators will not be entitled to SEG payments if they are receiving FIT export payments.

How do I apply?

All generators with an eligible installation will need to apply to a SEG Licensee for payment for electricity exported to the National Grid. 

Please note that there is no requirement for the SEG licensee to be the same company as your energy supplier. You can choose to use separate companies for your SEG export payments, electricity supply and your gas supply if you wish.

What tariff will I receive and how long will I receive SEG payments for?

The details of SEG payments, including the amount of money received and the length of the contract, will be determined by the supplier you apply to. However, whilst wholesale electricity prices can sometimes fall below zero, SEG licensees must always offer a tariff that remains above zero. Generators are also entitled to payments based upon actual meter readings, even if some suppliers offer deals with alternative payment models. 

About the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

The smart export guarantee (SEG) is an obligation set by the government for licensed electricity suppliers to offer a tariff and make payment to small-scale low-carbon generators for electricity exported to the National Grid, providing certain criteria are met.

The SEG comes into force on 1 January 2020.

Who’s the SEG for?

The SEG is an opportunity for anyone who has installed one of the following technology types up to a capacity of 5MW, or up to 50kW for Micro-CHP:

  • Solar photovoltaic (solar PV)
  • Wind
  • Micro combined heat and power (CHP)
  • Hydro
  • Anaerobic digestion (AD)

These installations must be located in Great Britain.

How does the SEG work?

The SEG Licensee is required to put processes in place to pay for the electricity exported by the eligible installation and to report to Ofgem on installations under the SEG arrangements.SEG Licensees determine the rate they will pay, contract length and other terms. However, whilst wholesale electricity prices can sometimes fall below zero, SEG Licensees must always offer a tariff that remains above zero. SEG payments must be calculated by SEG Licensees using Export Meter Readings.

Need help?

Visit our page for generators if you are thinking of applying for the SEG.

If you are an electricity supplier, visit our electricity suppliers page [link].  

Smart Export Guarantee: Contacts, guidance and resources

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) will be available from 1 January 2020. Some suppliers may already have information available on their websites about their participation in the SEG.

SEG Licensees (electricity suppliers) are obligated to publish their status as a SEG Licensee where it is easily accessible, so it is assumed that Generators will be able to find this information easily.

Generators should contact SEG Licensees in the first instance for information on the SEG. 

Please visit our contacts page to find details on contacts within Ofgem.

For a full list of our publications, visit the publications library.

National Grid Electricity System Operator

These are all the non-confidential documents submitted by National Grid Electricity System Operator to the Electricity Network Innovation Competition for the project entitled Black Start from Distributed Energy Resources upon which our decision to award...