Roof insulation turns houses 'live'

Who would have thought.....

Roof insulation turns houses 'live'

From: The Australian
February 08, 2010

HUNDREDS of homes that have been fitted with foil insulation under the Rudd government's stimulus program have been turned into potential death traps because installers have laid the insulation over live wires or used metal fasteners, causing it to become electrified.

An audit of almost 1000 homes in Queensland has found that in about 2 per cent of cases, foil insulation was installed inappropriately, causing the roof to become "live". This means that if home owners enter their roof space and touch the insulation, they could be shocked or electrocuted.
If the foil touches metal frames or pipes, it could cause other parts of houses, including taps, to become electrified...................more
Hardly surprising that the head of the national electirician's group is calling for inspections by electricians before and after insulation - everybody has a barrow to push.
I suspect the proportion of problems with installations and installers probably hasn't changed much. It's just that there are more installations getting done. I'm surprised given the amount of work happening there haven't been more deaths. It's always been a pretty dodgy industry.
An audit of almost 1000 homes in Queensland has found that in about 2 per cent of cases, foil insulation was installed inappropriately, causing the roof to become "live".
Even 2% is too high,the Rudd government did not think this one out too well
and when you look at some older properties don't even have the elec's systems set up with the ground earth not even in place,the money would have been better spend on getting all the Males above 50 retrained and back into the work force,after all they all vote..willair..
The other day I saw a Budget rent a car (ute), loaded with a crappy Bunnings type ladder, a cheapo toolbox and heapsm of bags of insulation batts.

To me it looked as if someone, probably a former office worker, is temporarily running a business, until the insulation stimulus thing ends.

A bit scary seeing such inexperienced people crawling in our roofspaces.
foil is largely ineffective over time anyway - once the dust in the roof cavity settles on it, it has little reflective ability and being a piece of foil has no thermal efficiency...
what would you be reflecitng inside a roof cavity?

ummmmmmm...heat?? same principle as wrapping a roast in aluminium foil for the oven

a lot of the foil is just that, a thin piece of foil...hence put dust on it and it loses its reflective properties. Only some brands have the glasswool attached or sandwhiched between layers.

moot point now anyway - as per the above link - it's banned from the rebate as of today!!:p
cool. i'm no physicist. i would have thought that it would only affect light reflection, otherwise if it was going to work it still would because it hasn't gone anywhere it's just covered.
hehe, sorry I re-read that and it sounded a bit narky...i meant only a bit of good natured sarcasm:p...

yeah i don't get the physics of it, but whilst it's fresh it is supposed to be quite efficient - think also of a space blanket that they use in cold weather rescue situations, just a big reflector that has no thermal ability in itself other than to reflect.
Garrett has just cost thousands of jobs and cost some companies millions with the stock that they have stored up to do jobs with that is now worthless.

when is the election???
well it has turned into a REBATE scheme now rather than a govt sponsored "free" scheme.
Essentially the same, but better restrictions now to stop the dodgy installers.

Shouldve been like this from the start.
not really - the protections are not worth the paper they're written on...

and they have significantly reduced the size of the property covered under the rebate, meaning most people will be paying out significant sums and only getting smaller part back.

they have really stuffed this one up.

agree it probably should've been like this from the start, but there are now around 20,000 people nationwide employed as a direct result of the program and in the stroke of a pen, most of them will be out of work. :(

bad form!!
Surely the conversion of the insulation 'free' scheme into a rebate scheme will totally kill of any motivation to insulate the house for the consumer.

Its one thing to agree to insulate your house when you don't have to run down to the bank and pay for it.

Its a completely different matter when you have to be convinced to pay for it first and then maybe/possibly reclaim it from the government who may change their mind tomorrow and not reimburse you the money.

A recent experience highlights to me that some of the installation companies are out and out fraudulent. With these companies running around unit blocks and simply check that no insulation was in the roof then pseudo sign up the householders to install 'free government' insulation.

No doubt if the Gov examined the paperwork for these building they would find that the people signing the agreement to insulate do not actually reside on the premises.

I came across a group of these cowboys (no offense UC;)) who had just walked the whole street of unit blocks and were just exiting one of my blocks, ladders and torches in hand, looking more like burglars than bonefied insulation installers. They initially attracted my attention, as I drove past to go to another building, as they looked real shifty with tats all over dressed in their bogan best.

When challenged, firstly they refused to identify the company they also nominated the BC as the instigator which I negated as I am on the BC. They then simply threatened me (one guy ended up about 20mm from my nose - rather intimidating) at which point I phoned the cops and they made a hasty retreat.

So with this sort of behavior happening and the Govn unable to control the exploitation of the uneducated the change will be for the better.

The lesson is always the same:
You cant legislate against stupidity.
You can't legislate against those who don't care about the laws
Strong market manipulation never works and almost always favours the crooks..
On the other hand, I have a number of clients that have looked at using the previous scheme as an add on or foothold business and have invested "large"sums of time and money.

They were legit businesses providing good quality service,

While we all knew this would only be a short window, for it to be hobbled in this way is a real problem for me.

Just like the QLD state gov land tax grab from Commercial land lords, the consistency of legislative business risk is perhaps one reason Australia is still seen as a bit of a banana republc amongst other developed nations.

Im sure we can do better next time ?

good story Andy.

It would have been smarter initially, as now, to focus on weeding out the black hats and allowing the white hats to get on with making a bob.

As it is, big government has revealed its ignorance of free market fundamentals.......and what would you expect when a bunch of left oriented enviro religious zealot career public servants whose bread and butter is drafting verbose wealth redistribution policy, turns its hand to validating microbusiness credentials.