New NSW ceiling insulation scheme awaits outcome of royal commission

By Anonymous
August 17, 2014 has reported (17/08/2014) on a new home insulation scheme proposed by the NSW government that will offer a subsidy to encourage 30 per cent of households that do not have home insulation to save on their energy costs.

However, the idea has been put on hold by Energy Minister, Anthony Roberts, until the findings of the royal commission on Kevin Rudd's 2009 home insulation program are delivered this month.   

After an overhaul of the state government's Energy Saving Scheme, businesses will be encouraged to market bundles of energy-saving opportunities to households from December.   This will be offered for a $90 co-payment.

This will include installing window glazing, lighting and high efficiency cooling and heating.

The Department of Trade and Investment identified that there is an opportunity for households to reduce their electricity bills by up to $150 by installing ceiling insulation. It recommended that ceiling insulation be included in the new Energy Savings Scheme on the condition that qualified installers were used and foil insulation was excluded.

A state government survey last November revealed that more than 740,000 homes did not have 
ceiling insulation. Installing ceiling insulation would offer the cheapest opportunity for those on low-income to benefit.

Since the discredited federal program that was blamed for more than 200 house fires and four deaths, significant changes have been made to the way ceiling insulation is installed. Manufacturers now offer longer warranties and there are improved training standards for installers.

Industry bodies and product manufacturers indicated to the government in December that risks could be managed.   Under the new scheme, quality audits would be made on 5 to 10 per cent of homes that received ceiling insulation.   A ten year warranty would also be offered by accredited installers.

The NSW government is cautious about rolling out another scheme during a royal commission into the 2009 home insulation program.   The government will consider the recommendations of the commission before it makes a decision.

In 2013, the 4.5 per cent energy reduction target was not met as the NSW Energy Savings Scheme was heavily focused on businesses gaining credits for installing LED lighting.  

Actual energy savings were only 2 per cent last year.