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#146400 12/15/06 01:14 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
People here in New Zealand are required to have a WOF(Warrant of Fitness) on any vehicle they own if it is to be used on NZ roads.
The idea of a WOF on a house as proposed, really raises my hackles.
A story from
OK, there are a lot of new houses in NZ here, however there are also a lot of older places lived in by either elderly or those that could not afford to have the walls of their houses ripped out and filled with Pink Batts (Fibre-glass) Insulation.
The other two aspects of this plan have me rather worried.
The first being water heating, most houses that this thing applies to, will have old in-efficient electric hot-water cylinders, seen the price of a new cylinder these days?.
Secondly and fore-most, lighting.
OK, them Dichroic lamps they fit into new houses look pretty, but if they are supplied by wirewound ballasts, should that place be down-graded?.
I think it should.
What are we supposed to do with our lighting in our houses?, live under the bland light from a compact fluorescent lamp?.
The reason the Incandesent lamp is still so popular, is because of it's colour-rendering qualities.

IMHO, sure, if we are going to go down this track, lets look at what caused this in the first place, lack of direction from Government.
While not trying to make this thread a political thing at ALL, who should pay for all of these ideas?.
It's all very well to say "Oh, you'll get the money back in a few years and have better health".
It just seems to me to be a "Jobs for the Boys" scheme, after all someone has to inspect these houses.
Being the owner of a pre-1970's house myself, I find it rather rich that someone in authority could simply say that my house is not as good thier's, so I have to bring it up to the same standard as thiers.
Your thoughts folks?.

{Message edited to clean up format}

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 12-15-2006).]

#146401 12/15/06 03:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 866
Likes: 4
Hi Mike, it sounds like the bureaucracy tries to prise an other tax out of us and want to create more jobs for themselves.

We have already building inspections which can be done when buying or selling a house at great cost and is voluntary and should remain so.
Same for electrical you can get a sparky to check your house and issue a COC if all is ok.

This will NOT happen and I certainly will dig my toes in and argue it with my local MP's to stop this nonsense.

It will not happen in New Zealand as long we all stick together.

The WOF for a car was $10 in 1990
now it is $45. Inspections haven't changed that much. We had VIN's etc but everytime an other clip on the ticket for something else or an other new computersystem etc.

OK my $0.02 worth on this topic.

The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.
#146402 12/15/06 05:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 153
Not a real surprise compared to Germany!
We see a parallel development here.

#146403 12/15/06 06:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
I remember when I first took a car in for a WOF.
1987, it was and it cost $7, it took an hour and the mechanic said this or that needed looking at, he fixed nothing.
What has happened since?.
Are the inspection lights brighter?.
Last WOF I got here cost me $47 and still the guy did nothing, my Nissan needs work done on the injectors and it does blow a wee bit of black smoke on start-up when cold.
I'll fix it one of these days.
This WOF system does nothing to keep the old pieces of rubbish off the roads.
We had a car literally fall to pieces north of town here a few weeks ago.
Anyhow, back on topic, can a WOF be seriously applied to a house?.
Houses tend to last a tad longer than cars.

#146404 12/15/06 08:23 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,253
djk Offline
Ireland's implementing energy efficiency ratings for all property sold / leased / rented. Homes will be rated in a very similar way to the way European appliances are rated i.e. A to G A = Good G = Bad across a range of areas.

It's a Europe-wide thing and I think the UK's implementing it at the moment too.

The only problem is that it really has no impact on anyone as many estate agents reckon that energy efficiency ratings simply won't impact upon the sale/rent price.
People are more concerned about location! location! location! and style issues.

#146405 12/15/06 04:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
I'm not clear from the article, but you're saying that these proposed standards would apply to all existing homes as well as new ones?

We have the building regulations here which stipulate certain standards for new builds and major renovations, but to try to impose changes onto existing homes is a step too far. Imagine being obliged to to re-wire sections of your home every time the Wiring Regs. were amended!

What would happen when people claim -- inevitably and truthfully -- that they simply don't have the money to bring their property up to the current specifications even if they wanted to?

Of course, as most of you know in my opinion the government already pokes its nose into our lives far too much as it is.

Being the owner of a pre-1970's house
A very large proportion of houses in the U.K. are pre-1970s, and quite a number are pre 1870s! My own place, though rather different from the conventional British home, dates back to the 1930s, with some early 1970s additions.

The WOF for a car was $10 in 1990
now it is $45.
In the U.K., we have a mandatory annual vehicle inspection for all cars over 3 years old, commonly referred to as the "MoT test" (Ministry of Transport). The test requirement was introduced way back in 1960, when the MoT at that time decided that there were too many dangerous old wrecks driving around. If you look back at the test requirements in the early days though, they were fairly rudimentary -- Just basic safety checks for tires, steering, brakes, suspension, lights working, etc.

Over the years though, so many things have been added to the test that it's getting silly, especially in the last few years. Now a car can fail for having a chipped windshield if the chip is in the "wrong" place, or for any one of dozens of other trivial little things. (And that's not to mention the stories about MoT inspectors picking on minor issues and missing rather more important problems such as severely corroded brake lines!)

At least the MoT has only had a couple of things applied retrospectively to older vehicles (requirement to add a windshield washer, for example).

If the principle of having to bring an old house up to the current specifications required for a new one were applied to the vehicle inspection, they'd be failing a 1975 car for having no rear fog lights, or failing a 1955 classic for having no seatbelts and ABS brakes. [Linked Image]

Oh, and with the creep of items added to the inspection, the fee has gone up and up..... Current standard price is now over £40, although garages are free to charge less if they wish.

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 12-15-2006).]

#146406 12/15/06 06:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
We are catching up fast in France.
To sell a house here now it must have a professionally prepared:
*Asbestos existing in the property report.
Lead, in plumbing or paint report.
Sewage disposal: condition of and efficiency report.
Heat-loss rating report.
These are for information for a new owner.
The first* needs to pass muster before sale.
Sewage good effluent quality will be mandatory next year. Heat loss and lead is info for buyer only, for now.

And the controle technique for the car is every 2 years and costs about £30 sterling. Well worth the money, IMO, it takes the mechanic an hour, he's got 10's of thousands of Euros worth of kit in his shop to pay for and I get a l-o-n-g list of everything checked out or needing attention.

I should add that, [ apart from tin-pot dictatorships, like Tonyland [Linked Image] [joke] ], a general rule of law is that legislation can't be made retrospective to existing equipment, unless continued use poses a risk to third parties. Think about it. You may accept the risk of driving a veteran car without seat belts. But if your house or car could injure or kill someone due to non compliance with better safety legislation, that's a different kettle of fish. Therefore no-one can force old folks to insulate their houses better. An old 'banger' churning out pollution is harming someone's health, even if it's just poor Old Long Suffering Mother Earth. Best to scrap the thing and get a better, safer and more economical car.

Bend with the wind shipmates, or snap!


Wood work but can't!
#146407 12/16/06 12:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520

If you've been following the news from B-Liar-land you'll know about the "Homeseller's Pack" which is supposed to be coming into force here soon, making sellers get various reports into a dossier before a sale. There was talk of an electrical PIR (Periodic Inspection Report) being part of the pack to accompany the new "Part P" rules, but that appears to have been shelved.

Frankly, I wish the government would butt out of what should be a private transaction. If I'm willing to buy a house without a structural survey, or without a heat-efficiency report, or without a detailed inch-by-inch check of every pipe in case it has lead solder, then why is that anyone's business but mine and the seller's? If I'm concerned about something, I can get a report from an expert, just as people have done up until now.

What if I were buying a place to renovate completely? Why on earth should we have to pay for a survey of plumbing, heating, wiring, etc. if they're all going to be ripped out and replaced anyway?

Therefore no-one can force old folks to insulate their houses better. An old 'banger' churning out pollution is harming someone's health,
But logically, isn't somebody using more heating due to poorer insulation also creating more pollution, even though it may be at a power station miles away rather than at the point of consumption?

This is the same sort of "where do you draw the line?" issue that I've used to argue against the government mandating that we do things "for our own good." That's how we have compulsory motorcycle helmets, compulsory seatbelts, compulsory childseats, and in Australia & New Zealand they've even gone as far as making it a crime to ride a bicycle without a helmet. Each time the existing laws have been used a precedent. What's next? Compulsory asbestos-line suit of armor to walk down the street?

Same principle here: If we're going to start accepting laws which restrict a person's energy consumption because of the pollution, where do we stop? Ban all the Christmas light displays? Ban people from using their car for a non-essential pleasure trip? Ban us from using power on our computers to chat about these things?

#146408 12/17/06 04:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
Yay Alan,
But if your house or car could injure or kill someone
All I need do is affix a notice to my front door, to the effect of:
Warning:This house is older than 1970, even knocking on the door could result in fatal injuries, you have been warned, run along now!.
That should keep the Jehovahs away. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 12-17-2006).]

#146409 12/17/06 07:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Paul, I keep abreast of events in my homeland, often with profound dismay at he antics of the lunatics now running the asylum.
It is now actually illegal to break-wind in England, as you release a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere by so doing. The UK EPA, [not to be confused with the real US EPA, a body entirely devoted to public health and not wringing the last drop of happiness out of hapless denizens], is forming new Warden groups , the Find All Rearend Toxins Squads.
Soon, the boys from F.A.R.T.S. will police public places, like pubs, football stadiums and parks, armed with trained sniffer-dogs searching out those responsible for those 'silent but deadlies' we all know so well. 'Catalytic shorts' made of knitted platinised 2-ply are the new fashion accessory of the decade. Those wishing to release pent-up body-fog must go to special F.A.R.T.S. centres, where unwanted vapors can be processed into fuel to run enviromentally-friendly electric-generators to charge up the batteries in the cattle prods.

Ah! Brave New World!


Wood work but can't!
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