Buffy’s energy vampires strike again

Stealing your energy and the TPIN costume contest trophy

Brynn Furey

Whether it’s securing a state commitment to go 100 percent renewable or convincing an elected official to boost local solar energy projects, Environment America’s Clean Energy Team will stop at nothing to win. We know that when it comes to clean energy, progress begets more progress; we see even the smallest victory as cause for celebration. That is why I’m proud to share the news that my team and I won the competition for the best overall costume in The Public Interest Network’s annual Halloween costume contest. 

Our costume was inspired by our Buffy the Energy Vampire Slayer comic. We created the Buffy comic earlier this year with the hope of injecting some pep into the often dry world of energy efficiency. The comic follows Buffy through her home as she finds and eliminates energy vampires that are zapping her power. As our Energy Conservation and Efficiency Associate, I dressed as Buffy, bearing my stake and wrapped in the wires and severed heads of energy vampires passed. 

The rest of the team transformed into a troop of my worst enemies: the energy vampires.

The Clean Energy Team’s Buffy the Energy Vampire Slayer group costume. Left column from top to bottom: Brynn Furey, Hannah Read and Ben Sonnega. Right column from top to bottom: Graham Marema, Bronte Payne and Johanna Neumann. Not pictured: Emma Searson.

Go Big on Offshore Wind Associate Hannah Read sent shivers down my spine as a television that was left on when no one was watching it. Go Solar Campaign Director Bronte Payne stole the show as a microwave with its clock on and turned up to full brightness. This was scary because our microwaves expend more energy each year displaying the time than they do heating our food. Luckily, Bronte made her clock detachable, so all I would need to do to slay her is to take it off.

Lead Digital Organizer for our 100% Renewable Campaign Graham Marema was out for blood as a lamp that someone forgot to turn off. Clean Energy Advocate Ben Sonnega spooked the audience as a wall outlet with a charger plugged into it. The scariest part was when Ben held up the other end of the charger, revealing that — gasp — nothing was even plugged in. 

Then came the second batch of enemies: the energy vampires that couldn’t be unplugged or turned off. 

Our 100% Renewable Campaign Director Emma Searson came poised to suck up a ton of energy as a dishwasher running the dryer cycle. What a ghastly sight that was to see when someone could have saved so much energy by simply allowing their dishes to air dry. 

Finally, Clean Energy Campaign Director Johanna Neumann wasted energy with a vengeance as a drafty window. Forget trying to control the temperature in your home when the air is escaping through the cracks in your window panes. I’d need to trade my stake for some caulk if I were to stand any chance against her. 

Our Halloween costume assembly was truly a frightening show of monsters that lurk in our homes. Yet, as satisfying as it is to know that we took home a trophy for our energy efficiency ensemble in the costume contest, we look forward to our next energy efficiency win, when we get to eliminate the real energy vampires.


Brynn Furey