Use of Foil Insulation in Homes

Date: 17 February 2010

Over the last few days the Federal Government has announced major changes in relation to the use of foil insulation within the Federally Funded Home Rebate Scheme. The changes are the result of a preliminary audit carried out to ensure ceiling insulation was being correctly installed. The audit included 10% of approximately 40,000 homes where foil insulation has been installed and found that approximately 2% had incorrect installation. A potential risk to persons entering roof spaces has been created due to the use of metallic fasteners coming into contact with electrical wiring. On that basis Government banned the use of foil products under the rebate scheme.

This ruling by Government does NOT prevent the use of foil insulation in new buildings where the insulation is installed over and above rafters as part of the energy efficiency requirements or as a moisture barrier or thermal break within the external walls. The above ban was the result of foil insulation being laid across the top of ceiling joists. Foil may also continue to be used as roof sarking particuarly when used to prevent the entry of hot sparks and embers into the roof space as part of the bushfire protection within new buildings.