THE Federal Government has stopped the use of foil insulation under its rebate program after four deaths, citing fears others will be electrocuted.
Federal environment minister Peter Garrett announced the suspension after electricians warned that houses were being turned into potential death traps by faulty installation of metallic insulation.
Mr Garrett said safety for householders and installers was “an absolute priority” under the government’s Home Insulation Program, which offers rebates for home insulation.
“Metallic foil is conductive and, when installed incorrectly, without undertaking the mandatory risk assessments and in breach of clear program requirements, this product can be dangerous,” the minister said.
Karen Parker from Insulation Gladstone said all their installers meet government requirements.
“Our workers have to comply with having done full training courses or a past relevant trade qualification,” Ms Parker said.
“It’s been a very busy time and certainly there is a lot of interest from people getting the grant.
“We have only ever installed the batts, which are not foil layered. When we first investigated we felt that the batts were the best product for the purpose as they were more effective than the foil insulation,” Ms Parker said.
Tannum Sand resident Peter Frost said he took advantage of the government program because of the offset of the cost of the insulation.
“We thought it would be good environmentally and help the house cool down,” Mr Frost said.
“We ended up getting the batts, not the foil insulation. We had no issues with the contractor and I feel completely safe living in my home.”
Kin Kora resident Sally Townsend said anything that reduced her electricity bill was great..
“Any scheme that offers to make things greener in the future is a good thing and we have had no problems with contractors or the insulation,” Ms Townsend said.