Department of Energy

Understanding Energy Consumption, One Candy Corn at a Time

October 21, 2016

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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 all week long for ways to save energy and money -- and avoid cold weather terrors like energy vampires. We also put together some energy-themed costume ideas and pumpkin patterns to help “energize” your neighborhood for Halloween. Send us photos of your energy-themed costumes and jack-o-lanterns via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or email at newmedia@hq.doe.gov and we'll share our favorites.

We're in the Energyween spirit at Energy.gov, and can't wait to chow down on pounds of candy while watching scary movies and contemplating energy vampires (in our spare time out of the office, that is). In honor of our favorite (made-up) holiday, we wanted to show you how your energy usage stacks up to the energy found in candy and other ghoulish things.

Earlier this year, we recorded a Direct Current podcast segment where we proposed a few new energy units -- burritos, Mt. Rushmore, a New York Minute and a Moon Landing -- in the hopes of making energy consumption easier to understand. We created a handy energy calculator to help illustrate these new units.

In the spirit of Energyween, we plugged in some spooky new energy units -- from a single candy corn to the total amount of energy in all of the candy sold in the U.S. around Halloween each year.

Thinking about flying to the moon on your broomstick? Not so fast, Samantha Stephens. You'll need to stock up on about 133,000 pieces of candy corn first. Want to chase someone with a chainsaw for an hour? We don’t recommend that -- but surprisingly, it would require less energy than is contained in a bucket of candy.

Plug some more energy statistics into the calculator above and see how they compare to these creepy crawly metrics.

Want to know even more about comparing your energy use to some unusual things from the real world? Check out this blog post from 2014 that compares your yearly energy use to several other interesting units -- like pounds of coal, the distance flown by a 747, and how many times Marty McFly could make it back to the future.