I have the 2005 hybrid and have been getting consistent 31-32 mpg overall. However, I live in Wisconsin and as soon as the temperature drops below 35 the mileage on commutes drops to nearly 25-26, mostly due to warming up the gas engine.

So I had the bright idea of getting a block heater in hopes that the startup mileage might be better if the gas engine starts out warmer. The Ford dealer said (a little TOO quickly, actually) that I can use any block heater that would fit a gas-only Escape. Before I go to Cheesehead Discount Auto Repairs and Taxidermy to have a block heater put in, I thought I'd ask this group:

1) Have you put a block heater on an Escape Hybrid successfully? If so, what kind etc.? If not, please feel free to share your horror story, it may be therapeutic.

2) Will this really help mileage proportionally to the cost of heater & installation plus electricity?