On a new house build I have the opportunity to prep for the main electric panel that will feed the house circuits. This is installed in the basement of a climate zone 5 location. I believe the basement will some day be insulated with rigid foam, so I am considering using about 2" of rigid foam glued to the concrete wall with 3/4" Plywood tapconned into the foam and concrete behind the foam. Then, the panel would install onto the plywood.

Is this a good idea? Am I getting too carried away with insulation, or have any of you seen this done?

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    Is it too late to put the foam insulation outside the concrete? Seems a shame not having that biig thermal mass working in your favor. Jul 2, 2017 at 14:08
  • Yes, unfortunately my cost based analysis made it so extra loan interest on construction loan for all foam on outside negated the energy savings while doing it later without paying interest on the loan allows me to have some savings to pay it off. I'm not sure if I should foam behind the panel or call it a loss and move on
    – CCCBuilder
    Jul 2, 2017 at 14:34
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    That's too bad. Watch out for "cost based analysis", we see that blow up in people's faces down the road. My classic is too-small electrical service panels that run the user out of options and force them into expensive work. (I won't consider anything less than a 40-space for a small house.) There are key pinch-points in house building where a little extra money upfront saves a lot more later. Builders don't care about that, but self-builders can. On the panel I would flame-test the XPS and see how it behaves. Jul 2, 2017 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


Most people install their electrical panel in an unfinished part of their basement and don't worry about insulating it.

However, if you are sure the panel will not have to be moved then you can mount it however you like and not have to worry about moving it later.

I would install an oversized piece of foam and plywood to allow for additions later. If you have the room that is.

Good luck!

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