The Fed’s Ceiling Insulation Subsidy Scheme – hot or what?

moneypenny2612 16 August 2009 29

Today’s post is about the Federal Government’s ceiling insulation subsidy scheme. There are two of them – one for home owners and one for renters – offering a subsidy of up to $1600 towards the cost of installing ceiling insulation. It’s part energy efficiency feel-good factor, part economic stimulus for household trades.

You would think Canberrans would be prime takers of this sort of thing – we vote light-Green, we have a pretty extreme climate and lots of energy inefficient housing (although, surprisingly, the ABS says that nearly 80% of Canberra homes are insulated. Now, either the insulation is not fit for this location or the law of averages has not caught up with many landlords yet).

Anyway, are Canberrans taking advantage of the Government’s current largesse?

I haven’t been able to find any statistics for the ACT take-up under the schemes; although so far nationwide more than 25000 homes have had insulation installed under the schemes.

There have also been media reports recently in other places about supply and skills shortages leading to profiteering and shonky work by some tradies who sign up to the scheme. (You can read all about it here, here, and here.)

Have Rioters have taken advantage of the scheme? Can you please comment on your experience?

Can you recommend any tradies or have you had any British backpackers crawling around in your roof cavity?

Is your home more temperate? Are your halogen downlights blowing more often? Is your household energy bill lower?

Do you care?


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29 Responses to The Fed’s Ceiling Insulation Subsidy Scheme – hot or what?
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fgzk fgzk 7:43 pm 18 Dec 09

Gardengirl “I think it has more to do with attitude than certificates. “

That would be the attitude of the employers. I believe 3 people have already died installing insulation. Safe working practises before profit and pride, would that be too much to ask. That is three people dead for cheap quick solutions. Makes you wonder.

mindrich mindrich 5:02 pm 18 Dec 09

This program of the Federal government of Australia invites more investors to the country. Because people are more happy to support in return to this helpful service to the community.

Sad to say, some other companies, take advantage this program, instead of giving a comfort home to live, they put many of the people lives into high risk.

These companies disregard implementing the quality service of roof insulation. Thus, more and more houses were reported blazed unexpectedly.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 10:47 pm 17 Aug 09

pptvb said :

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

It’s just a shame so many tradies who install it are useless, careless pricks.

I know this site loves “tradie” bashing, but these guys are not Tradesmen.
There are no trade certificates for laying batts in ceilings.
As we know, just about anyone can, & does, install ceiling batts.
It is just a shitty, itchy job most of us would rather avoid.

I think it has more to do with attitude than certificates. There are people who take pride in their work, regardless of what it is, and care about how it affects others . . . and there are people who don’t.

Bundybear Bundybear 5:53 pm 17 Aug 09

Relax guys, the landlord is my “good mate”, they did all the chasing, he’s happy to pay any extras above the scheme – although no-one gets paid till the jobs finished. Kids are happy to do the running around, as he has given them a brilliant deal on the rent in return for guaranteed great tenants whose dad is happy to do all the minor repairs.

pptvb pptvb 5:46 pm 17 Aug 09

I read it last week, but buggered if I can find it now.
Not that having over 10 investment properties is going to affect me!!

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 5:19 pm 17 Aug 09

I don’t think so pptvb. Can’t see any limit in the Guidelines:

2. For the Landlord and Tenant
In order to qualify for the assistance, landlords or tenants must fully comply with all the eligibility requirements set out in these guidelines. Final decisions regarding eligibility will be made by the Australian Government.

The Australian Government reserves the right to change the amount of the assistance provided or any other aspect of these guidelines.

Landlord and tenant eligibility
To be eligible to obtain the assistance, the landlord or tenant must:

be a:
i) Landlord (see ‘Definitions’) of the dwelling where the insulation is to be installed and be:
an Australian citizen or permanent resident aged 18 years or over; or
a corporate entity incorporated in Australia; OR
ii) Tenant (see ‘Definitions’) of a dwelling owned by a Landlord with evidence of the Landlord’s permission (letter from Landlord or Landlord’s agent) to install ceiling insulation in that dwelling under the Low Emission Assistance Plan for Renters and to sign the Work Order Form (see ‘Definitions’) including giving a release on the Landlord’s behalf; and
obtain the approval of the body corporate, if applicable; and
correctly complete and sign the relevant section of the Work Order Form; and
only apply for assistance under the program once per dwelling (a single dwelling is only able to be insulated once under the program) and not apply for assistance under the Homeowner Insulation Program in relation to the dwelling; and
be installing ceiling insulation in a dwelling that is not state or territory public housing or owned by a state or territory government or State or Territory Housing Authority; and
be arranging the installation of new ceiling insulation, not replacing existing ceiling insulation above what is deemed as having Negligible Effectiveness (see ‘Definitions’); and
not have received or be entitled to receive assistance for the installation of ceiling insulation in the dwelling under any state, territory or local government scheme which combined with any assistance under this program will result in the Landlord or Tenant receiving assistance in excess of the total cost of the installation of the ceiling insulation.
Note: the Landlord or Tenant may also apply for the Solar Hot Water Rebate. Please check the Solar Hot Water Rebate guidelines for eligibility.

pptvb pptvb 3:37 pm 17 Aug 09

Gungahlin Al said :

The scheme covers renters/landlords too, to a total of $1000 per property, regardless of how many properties a landlord may have to do (listening VY?). See this article for details.

That is where I was leading, Gungahlin Al, as the tennants shouldn’t be paying.
I think it is only up to a max of 10 rental properties per landlord @ $!000 each.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 2:32 pm 17 Aug 09

pptvb said :

Bundybear said :

Daughter and son-in-law who rent from my good mate have had insulation installed at mates recommendation. While a terrific scheme, it has clearly pressured the industry, with their job being initially held up by shortage of batts, and then a very poor job done by young contractors, with gaps in insulation, a tile removed to provide light was left out of location causing leakage and damage to the ceiling, and a light fitting pushed in. Still waiting for repairs to be carried out, and the job to be completed. So choose your installer carefully. And make sure you get quotes for the same insulation ratings.
In spite of the crappy job, it’s made a huge difference to their house in terms of warmth, and I imagine their bills will be much lower, as the heater is usually on 1 not 5.

Please tell me your daughter & son-in-law haven’t paid for insulation in a property they rent.

The scheme covers renters/landlords too, to a total of $1000 per property, regardless of how many properties a landlord may have to do (listening VY?). See this article for details.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 1:48 pm 17 Aug 09

Many places have no insulation in Canberra. It only ‘recently’ that it is mandatory for all new homes to have decent ceiling insulation. In most situations it was up to the home owner to fit – like curtains and carpets – and as it was out of mind it was often not done at all.

In our case we had this scary sounding stuff called ‘expanded urea-formaldehyde’. Very cutting edge in the early eighties but it just turned to dust when you touched it – and was only harmful to those that breathed in its fumes in the days after it was installed.

The issue we had was trying to get someone to decide what R rating it was currently worth. Eventually the consensus was that it was worth R1.5 – so we paid to have it removed before the new batts went in.

njo njo 1:41 pm 17 Aug 09

Our old loosefill ceiling insulation was only rated R1.5 and therefore useless, but still R1 too high to qualify for the Govt scheme. Just weeks before the Govt announced the new scheme we had arranged for JustRite to remove the loosefill (cost $700) and install R5 batts ($1300). We contemplated cancelling the install and using the Government’s scheme once the loosefill was completely gone so that we could say we had no insulation to start with, but it all got too hard because we had already paid a deposit and maybe our conscience got the better of us 🙂
We did use the ACT Govt Energywise rebate so we got $500 back. If using the ACT Govt scheme, make sure you tell your energy assessor to list insulation in your top priority list so you are covered.
I have to agree with an earlier post regarding removing the loosefill and allergies improving – both my husband and I are much less congested without it! It was $700 very well spent.
I also have to say that JustRite were excellent (we had an installer called Harry who was an experienced insulation installer).

Observing Observing 12:55 pm 17 Aug 09

I thought for a person to be eligible to get this scheme, you have to have either no ceiling insulation or have it rated at R 0.5 or lower? Are there that many Canberrans with no insulation?

My ceiling insulation was rated at 2.0 which is low but not low enough to get proper insulation through this scheme. I thought this scheme was realistically only for coastal cities who would have no real incentive to get proper insulation and now suddenly could go up to excellent insulation at the government’s expense….meanwhile the inland places who forked up to get mediocre insulation have to live with what they put in before the scheme came into place.

pptvb pptvb 12:44 pm 17 Aug 09

Bundybear said :

Daughter and son-in-law who rent from my good mate have had insulation installed at mates recommendation. While a terrific scheme, it has clearly pressured the industry, with their job being initially held up by shortage of batts, and then a very poor job done by young contractors, with gaps in insulation, a tile removed to provide light was left out of location causing leakage and damage to the ceiling, and a light fitting pushed in. Still waiting for repairs to be carried out, and the job to be completed. So choose your installer carefully. And make sure you get quotes for the same insulation ratings.
In spite of the crappy job, it’s made a huge difference to their house in terms of warmth, and I imagine their bills will be much lower, as the heater is usually on 1 not 5.

Please tell me your daughter & son-in-law haven’t paid for insulation in a property they rent.

pptvb pptvb 12:41 pm 17 Aug 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

It’s just a shame so many tradies who install it are useless, careless pricks.

I know this site loves “tradie” bashing, but these guys are not Tradesmen.
There are no trade certificates for laying batts in ceilings.
As we know, just about anyone can, & does, install ceiling batts.
It is just a shitty, itchy job most of us would rather avoid.

toriness toriness 12:31 pm 17 Aug 09

so i thought that you could only get these grants if you *didn’t* already have insulation installed but it sounds like you qualify to get your crappo stuff replaced (which i assume MY stuff is) with new? is this right? i would be interested to know about wall insulation too – i swear that’s where we lose most of our heat from.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 11:41 am 17 Aug 09

For those of us quick on the uptake (we had it installed on 29th of June) we have had to pay up front and then claim back the cost ($1100 for 120m2). Of course we are still waiting for the Dept of Environment to give us our cash back…..

The key issues that have been highlighted are:

Installers not boxing around down lights (20 lights add considerably to installation costs)
Arguments about the R ratings of existing insulation (too high and you don’t qualify)
And the supply of the batts (CSR has had to build an entire new factory to cope)

Oh and make sure you get 4.1’s put in – that what the Gov is prepared to pay for so why go for anything less?

Pandy Pandy 9:21 am 17 Aug 09

air loss through gaps:

In cars, it is recommend that cars allow air flow through the car and to used recirculation sparingly.

In offices, air is replenished to prevent sleepy workers and prevent the spread of airborne disease. Is it about 10% per air volume per hour?

Healthy air and non-stinking enviroments to me means getting a good air flow, through gaps/open windows. We are not Europe, where they get minus 20 degrees and more in winter.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 8:51 am 17 Aug 09

At home we have a policy of only heating the areas we use. We have a high-efficiency ducted gas system, and can turn off areas we don’t use. By closing doors to these areas, as well as kepping bathroom and laundry doors closed, our heater hardly comes on, even at night. Of course, we have ceiling and wall insulation.

Having lived previously in a house with no insulation (where the gas wall heater ran constantly just to keep the place above frozen solid), I thoroughly recommend decent insulation. It makes a hell of a difference.

It’s just a shame so many tradies who install it are useless, careless pricks.

jedwards jedwards 10:02 pm 16 Aug 09

Did you know you that you can check how well your insulation has been installed without climbing around in the roof with a torch?

If you’re really concerned about improving your energy efficiency and comfort levels then also consider air leakage testing and draft sealing. Australian houses are very leaky by international standards and it is well recognised overseas (in research and building standards) that there is little point improving the R value of your home’s building envelope unless you also make sure it is well sealed. Until you stop the direct heat loss through gaps and cracks in the structure, you’re compromising the effectiveness of other measures such as insulation and double glazing. The Australian Government (DEWHA) and the Building Code of Australia have recently jointly funded a review of international air leakage standards and the potential for reducing the GHG emissions of Australian construction. Last year the Aus Government’s ‘Your Home- technical manual’ recognised air leakage as the most effective method of achieving direct energy savings.

Our research shows that, in winter, the average Canberra house is losing all of its heated air (goodbye precious dollars and hello GHG emissions) 2-3 times per hour! Research suggests air leakage testing and sealing can save as much as 50% on heating costs in Canberra with a pay back period of around 3 years. Once you know where the air leakage problems spots in your home are, the fixing is generally quite simple, so DIY types can further shorten the payback period.

ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 8:28 pm 16 Aug 09

I have an apartment above me and one below. I therefore don’t need ceiling insulation. I need wall insulation for a south-facing double-brick wall. When will the government give me some help?

rosebud rosebud 8:09 pm 16 Aug 09

We took up this offer too. We used JustRite and got good upfront advice. However, the subby who installed it left a bit to be desired. When he eventaully showed up, after failing to turn up the first time (“I fell asleep” – no joke, that’s what he told us) he did a reasonable job.

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