The government-funded insulation program has drawn serious criticism from the industry as well as from the opposition, resulting in an immediate freeze of the program as of Friday.

The General Manager of Go Green Home Insulation company, Bill Makris explained to Neos Kosmos that the way the government rebate program has unfolded it was “a disaster waiting to happen.”

He stressed the fact that his company does not use aluminium foil in the roofs as it is an inappropriate insulation material.

“Aluminium foil insulation is mainly used for walls, under the tiles and on the floors but not in the roof in between the batts,” Mr Makris said. It should be noted that the overwhelming number of house where aluminium foil insulation was used in the roof is in Queensland.

“To this day I still don’t know why aluminium foil [insulation] was so readily used in Queensland,” Mr Makris pointed out.

The government rolled this program unprepared, according to Makris, as there’s no regulated insulation trade.

“It’s an easy job but it depends who is up there doing this job,” he emphasised.

As soon as the government announced the insulation rebate scheme, companies sprang up like mushrooms trying to capitalise on the momentum.

Before the recent suspension more than 6,000 companies were registered as home insulation installers. Inevitably, argues Mr Makris, when you have such a large number you will get unscrupulous companies and people who will try to take a piece of the cake.

“And with $1200 rebate per house, we’re talking about a big cake and huge margins of profit,” he said.

Prior to the media barrage that eventually led to Friday’s decision, installers only had to undergo a two day course in order to be eligible to install insulation.

During this course, as Mr Makris noted, there was no no risk assessment nor any discussion of possible electrical risks.

Four installers have died since the beginning of this program 12 months ago.

government has also ordered inspections for 48,000 houses that have
already been insulated with aluminium foil. It is believed that the
aluminium foil insulation in the roofs can potentially cause fires.

The government also announced on Friday that it will replace the insulation and the solar panel schemes by a new household renewable energy bonus scheme.

Apparently, households will have to fork the bill initially for the instalment of either insulation or solar panels and will receive a rebate after lodging a claim with the government.