Alright, so maybe Secretary Chu doesn't really love us (at least not yet), but he answered a question we sent in via Twitter to his Town Hall style chat, so that's a start. The purpose of the chat was to "...discuss President Obama's Clean Energy and Innovation Agenda" and it can be seen on the Energy.gov website and the snippet with our question can be seen below.
Our question was: "What is the most cost effective modification a homeowner can make to their home to save the most energy".
His answer (paraphrased):
Insulation, finding where the air leaks are and sealing those leaks.
He then went on to describe how he made a custom solution to prevent air from coming in or escaping from his mail slot, which sure sounded a lot like the solution we posted last week to prevent door drafts! Of course his wife seemed to like the solution he came up with much more than my wife liked the big piece of cardboard sticking out of our door.
My answer would have been "Install and use a programmable thermostat", but only because I think that this is easier to do for most people than tackling their insulation issues, but to tell you the truth, his answer is probably the better one because it is more cost effective (depending on how much insulation you need). It makes sense to fix all your leaks first, and then tackle the usage side (which is done with the thermostat). I guess that's why he has a Nobel Prize for Physics...
See our question and his answer below!