People who first drove their cars with every aerodynamic advantage in mind, while shifting into neutral to use only the power of gravity to propel their vehicle down every hill, were among the pioneers to lay claim to the nickname of “hypermiler”. They understood the importance of reducing the mass of their car, so they removed spare tires, speakers, roof racks and even seats to achieve their goal of squeezing the most MPG from their vehicle. Hypermilers used every driving tactic at their disposal to find creative ways to save more gas. Coasting, gliding, drafting and pulse-and-glide are just part of their daily lives. Their goal, to squeak out the most mileage from the smallest amount of fuel or battery charge, in their vehicle. The term has taken off to such an extent that it’s part of modern culture and admired by many in the the world of going super green.
Interestingly enough, there is also another type of “hyper” person emerging. Although their tactics are different, they share a similar mission. The “hypermiler” was a trailblazer in the world of fuel savings, but the “hyperwatter” is emerging as the hero for ALL the energy waste in his or her world. As you might imagine, it is used to describe someone who is passionate about saving on energy and energy costs by squeezing the most out every watt-hour of electricity.
Of course, describing them as being “into” saving energy is actually putting it mildly. Are they electrical energy fanatics? Yes. Obsessive about, even tiny, usage? Absolutely.
However, where they differ is that some people consider the techniques used by hypermilers to be extremely intense or even daring, and that their behaviors can be considered dangerous to themselves and other drivers. For example, hypermilers may consider certain rules of the road as “optional” in an effort to get the maximum MPG from their vehicles. Focusing on the need to keep moving is likely to create less than a desirable focus by the driver, in some situations.
How it starts…
If you go around the house turning off lights in empty rooms, taking 2 minute showers or converting every light bulb to LEDs, then you’re on your way, but you’re not there, yet. The truly dedicated take it much further, they’ll lock the freezer to avoid unnecessary openings of the door, eat dinner by the light of a hand crank lamp, and use a portable solar battery to charge their cell phones.
While this may seem like it’s uncool and entirely geeky, many would argue that it’s the complete opposite. In fact it may be a vision into the future. Their habits can be seen as a way to prepare your home for the way that energy will likely be generated in the years to come. For many us of, that means solar. As solar panel and battery power systems become cheaper, it will make sense for most people to purchase a solar panel and battery system to power your home. One way to make that system even more affordable and efficient is to reduce the size of the system required to power your home, in the first place. That means, lowering your overall energy consumption.
What can Hyperwatters teach us?:
- Use technical solutions for even small results. A great example of this would be the use of an occupancy sensor in a bathroom, hallway, or garage to automatically turn lights on and off when someone enters or exits the area.
- Cutting costs are fun to them. Keeping more of our money is fun for all of us, too. The difference is that we want to see big numbers and we want to see it quickly. Appreciate and enjoy small savings. Calculate how they add up over time or set a goal for a special event or vacation with the money saved.
- Dedication to the least energy consumption possible. It’s a game. How low can you go? Can you beat your neighbors? Can you beat your previous month?
- Focus on Maximum efficiency and problem solving. Energy savings is a challenge. The more ways you find to save, the more techniques you use, the more creative thinking you employ, the more satisfaction you feel.
- Green up the planet. It’s so much bigger than the amount of money or energy your saving. Think big. Make the world a better, more healthy place.
- Be aware of your behaviors and even your thoughts. Thinking about how we can live better can inspire small actions that can create big results. The benefits to you and your family are numerous; you save money, you help the planet, you feel accomplished, you inspire people around you. There’s nothing more powerful than being a good example to others.
Trailblazing the Energy Sustainability Movement…
Technically, the term hyperwatter is used in very close circles, at the moment. It is something only just beginning to appear, but it’s a developing movement that is already at work in the world. We see people converting to super efficient LED lighting, installing smart thermostats, investing in solar panel systems, and even completely downsizing to tiny homes. Hyperwatters just take it a step further by continuously exploring ways of reducing energy waste by mindful lifestyle behaviors. Their actions and habits combine to dramatically reduce the kWh from their monthly bills.
They say that “every little bit counts” and the hyperwatter knows this to be true. If you would like to be a member of this exclusive group, look for the smallest and largest energy savings, and get to work. If you’re successful, you can be proud to know that you are a trailblazer in the energy sustainability movement. But you better hurry, before it actually becomes cool.