I’m a notorious tightwad, so I just did something today that’s guaranteed to save me pennies per month: I insulated my electrical outlets and light switch outlets on my outside walls with some foam inserts I found at the local closeout store.In actuality, I don’t know how much money they’ll save me. Probably more than a few pennies per month, but I doubt if it’ll save me much more than a dollar or two. But still, two packages cost me $3 apiece, so even if they only save me a buck a month on average, they’ll pay for themselves by next fall. And I’d rather spend my money on basically anything other than energy.
I suspect you can get those inserts at most hardware stores. I just happened to find them at Big Lots a day or two after someone told me about them.
The idea is pretty sound: There isn’t a lot of insulation around those outlets, which allows warm and cool air to escape through the empty space. The uninsulated outlets on your outside walls probably isn’t quite as bad as keeping a window cracked year round (I’m not an energy expert, if you haven’t figured that out yet), but the principle is the same. Stick a piece of insulated foam behind the outlet cover, and you’ve reduced the amount of space your inside air has to escape.
More energy saving ideas
I’ve done a number of other things to help me save energy over the years. Most are pretty inexpensive. I installed thermal blinds and thermal curtains. Then I insulated my hot water pipes. I added child safety plates. Of course I also use LED bulbs.
My electric usage dropped 19 percent in 2011, so these things work.