Meet a Real-Life Energy Advisor: Steve Hite digs cornfields and quiet

Steve Hite has been an Energy Advisor with Hendricks Power Cooperative for six years. He brings 25 years of construction experience to showing members how to better save energy at home.

What’s the first thing you thought of this morning?

It’s Friday!

How’d you become an Energy Advisor?

It was a natural progression. I was previously in construction; I worked for a homebuilder for about 25 years. I started out framing houses, went to interior trim, and then moved into cabinetry. After that, I got into the construction supervising side of it, since I had done so much.

What’s the last hobby you picked up?

It’s actually an old hobby that I’m getting back into: shooting guns. A range opened up recently in Avon, so I’ve been there a lot. I have an AR-style rifle and several handguns. My favorite would be my Springfield—it’s smooth, loads easy, shoots nice, and fits well in my hand.

What are three words to describe living in Hendricks County?

Cornfields. Community. Friendly. It’s a fast-growing community, as well—the second-fastest in Indiana, so there’s a lot going on. It’s a busy little area; I like that. I’ve lived in Hendricks County for 13 years. My previous job brought me here.

What’s the best vacation you ever had?

Probably Grand Turk Island. Wait—I actually kinda liked the last one really well: I went to Vegas, rented a Harley, and just rode around the West.

If you could switch lives with a person for one day, who would it be?

Probably the president. Just so I could see what goes on at the highest level of government.

In a world without electricity, what would you miss most?

Probably my job.

What’s the last book you read?

It’s really been a while since I read a book. I read online and trade magazines quite a lot, and I catch up on current events online.

What’s the best thing that happened to you yesterday?

Well, it was payday. That was nice.

How’d you change your energy habits at home after you took this job?

It basically helped me to understand how all the small changes you can make to your house can add up to big savings. Before this job, I was more concerned about HVAC equipment, which is good, but I wasn’t really thinking about the small things like air sealing, lighting, water heater temperature. Now I use smart strips. Now I use CFLs.

What’s the number one thing members want to know?

Why is my bill so high? I’m always trying to tell members, “Don’t worry about how high your bill is now; worry about how you can save.”

What’s the number one thing you wish they knew?

I wish they understood their usage a little better. Based on what I hear from members, they get that bill every month but have no idea what it means. I’d like them to have an idea about how much energy each appliance and each device uses. It’s very hard to get people to understand that that space heater looks small and innocent but uses a huge amount of energy.

If you weren’t an EA, what would you be?

I’d still be in construction, still building houses. I enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing the finished product. That was always my favorite part. It’s very satisfying to see something you worked hard to build come together.

Are you heating and cooling your building at the same time?

Are you heating and cooling your building at the same time?

Heating and cooling a building at the same time doesn't make much sense. Unfortunately, it's hardly rare. In fact, it's one of the most common efficiency opportunities available in commercial buildings.
Then and Again

Then and Again

One Sunday morning before church, Ryan Blackman casually flipped through magazine pages when an article snagged his glance. He eagerly read how he could be saved – from high energy prices, thanks to his local electric cooperative.