Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Potentially deadly insulation faults to be corrected

The Federal government will apparently offer home owners with potentially deadly foil insulation installed under its subsidsed scheme either replacement insulation or an earth leakage circuit breaker to prevent elecotrocution.

Home owners would have to be mad to accept the circuit breaker option: any current leakage, caused by condensation, for example, will trip the circuit breaker, throwing all of the home's non-lighting circuits offline. The circuit breaker will not reset until the fault is found and rectified. Thus a home could be without power for quite some time and the home owner could be liable for a sizable bill for an electrician who might spend hours hunting down the fault.

The government hasn't yet estimated the cost of fixing the foil insulation problem, but if the job is done properly, it's going to cost plenty – the oppostition reckons $450 million is a reasonable estimate.

There's also the matter of shipping container's full of insulation that have been abandoned due to the insulation scheme's suspension. Some shipping companies are holding hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of insulation no one wants. The government will likely end up assuming some of these costs as well.

The insulation scheme has been one massive stuff-up.


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