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Energy Tricks Lead to Cost-Saving Treats

October 31, 2013 - 10:34am

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Halloween LED lights are a common, energy efficient decoration. | Photo courtesy of Jeremy Roof, Creative Commons.

Halloween LED lights are a common, energy efficient decoration. | Photo courtesy of Jeremy Roof, Creative Commons.

To commemorate National Energy Action Month, we’re featuring some scarily effective ways to save energy at home. As cooler weather lurks around the corner, tune in to energy.gov throughout the month of October for ways to save energy and money -- and avoid cold weather terrors like energy vampires. We also put together some energy-themed pumpkin patterns to help “energize” your neighborhood for Halloween. Send us photos of your energy-themed jack-o-lanterns via TwitterInstagramFacebook or email at newmedia@hq.doe.gov and we'll share our favorites during the week of Halloween.

Halloween revelers young and old will take over their neighborhoods at an early witching hour tonight. Illuminated jack-o-lanterns will smile (or glare) from stoops. Porch lights, street lamps and lights strung from porches will flicker to provide a safe cover for pedestrians. With all these lights on, there’s little wonder how Halloween fits strikingly well within the broader theme of energy efficiency.

Trick-or-treaters and their chaperones in towns from Pocahontas, Iowa, to Fort Fairfield, Maine will enjoy better visibility with brighter streetlights at a lower cost tonight. By using funds from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, many municipalities have replaced traditional incandescent street lights with brighter, longer-lasting light-emitting diode (LED) lights. Obviously, it’s not just once a year that municipalities are actively attempting to lower their energy consumption -- so LEDs, an energy efficient way to light paths, pumpkin patches or the pumpkins themselves, are a smart investment.
 
In the same spirit, compact fluorescent bulbs on porches indicate to youngsters there’s a treat awaiting them when they sound the door bell. And when participating households open the door and place a sweet in the baskets, bags or plastic pumpkins, they could very well be handing over treats that required less energy to produce than several years ago.

Candy is typically produced through complex manufacturing processes. Hershey’s Kisses actually got their name from the sound the machine produced when spitting out each individual piece of candy. Though it has been a long time since the first kiss dropped onto a conveyor belt, since 2007 Hershey’s has implemented extensive energy consumption audits at their processing facilities. Processes that gave the candy its name now consume less energy. Other confectionary companies like Nestle and Jelly Belly have implemented similar energy saving manufacturing tricks when producing their treats.
 
Whether you are out trick-or-treating tonight, bobbing for apples or enjoying a hayride, there are constant reminders of energy efficiency in our daily lives – and many are the things we may not notice. This All-Hallow’s Eve, take a moment to appreciate the ways energy efficiency is all around us. You can even lead the way with an LED torch, or heat your apple cider with your ENERGY STAR stove.
 

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