Energy conservation and Halloween

Halloween is a perfect time of year to think about and practice ways of reducing energy use. What could be better than going lights free for a spooky ambiance?

Phantoms and Vampires

Did you know your home may have phantoms and vampires? If you’re like most Americans, you may have as many as twenty! Yes, “Phantom Loads,” or “Energy Vampires” as some people call them, happen when appliances and electronics drain energy even when they’re turned off or not in use simply because they are plugged in. These nuisances not only suck unnecessary energy and lead to carbon emissions, they cost the average household about $200 a year. Now that’s scary.

How to rid your home of these unwanted guests? When not in use, unplug items such as single use appliances (like toasters and coffee makers) as well as all of your gizmo chargers. Unplug appliances such as televisions when you’re away on vacation. You can also use what are called “smart” power strips designed to stave off unwanted energy suckers.

Not-so-scary lighting choices

  • Candles are the quintessential tool for spooktacular Halloween lighting. Use in jack-o-lanterns, along walkways in luminaries, and as indoor décor, nothing says fall like the warm glow from a candle’s flame. Be sure to always choose 100% beeswax or soy candles as paraffin candles are petroleum based and burn less cleanly.
  • LED lights are a great option in addition to or instead of candles. They last as much as 133 times longer than incandescents and cost 80% less to use. They’re also safer around children than candles or regular bulbs because they don’t generate hear. LED lights are available in all shapes and colors, including festive Halloween themes for indoor and or outdoor use. Check out these cool (get it?) LED spider lights. Have old string lights to recycle? Send them to and save them from a land-fill fate.
  • Solar lighting is, of course, the crème-de-la-crème of Halloween lighting choices. Solar lighting uses no electricity whatsoever, and sun is a renewable resource! Solar works well even if you live in Seattle, so this year how about trying these Halloween string lights? Here are some other great solar Halloween décor items.

More energy saving tricks

    Use shakable flashlights to light your way. Kids love ‘em too.
  • Invite lots of guests and keep your heat low or off during your Halloween party. Body heat works wonders for keeping a space warm.
  • When the party’s over and your little goblins have gone to bed, wash only a full load of dishes and wash clothes (a full load too) in cold water instead of warm or hot.
For more ways you and your family can help to conserve energy, visit our partners at Puget Sound Energy’s website.

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