Heating/Cooling Coaches

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Replacing an existing heating/cooling or water-heating system, or adding cooling, can be a time-consuming and confusing process. To allow time for learning about climate-friendly alternatives, including heat pumps, it’s best to start planning before the existing system fails. We connect you with coaches who guide you through this process at no charge. 

"I think the coaching is a great resource -- this technology is still unfamiliar to many people, so it's important to have access to knowledgeable people who are advising without trying to sell something." - Mav P.

Our coaches adhere to our well-defined coaching principles and follow a standard engagement process so that each client has a consistent, high-quality experience. Coaches help clients become better informed so they can confidently make their own decisions.

Services generally include:

  • Consulting with the clients to assess their goals and their existing heating/cooling system;
  • Assessing what heating/cooling and/or water-heating equipment configurations might be best suited to their needs;
  • Helping clients understand how heat pumps compare with conventional systems, and what questions to ask so that an appropriate system is installed to their satisfaction;
  • Guiding the clients through the process of getting a building energy assessment. Weatherization measures suggested by the assessment can enable clients to install a smaller, less expensive heat pump, and can improve heat pump performance.
  • Guiding the clients through the process of engaging installers;
  • Optionally, helping clients compare quotes, understand the alternatives being offered, and ask the right follow-up questions;
  • Optionally, putting clients in touch with existing heat pump owners.

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Meet the Coaches!



Years of experience as a science journalist have left me pretty good at explaining stuff. Gut rehabbing a West Concord cape imparted a basic familiarity with home renovation. But mainly what I bring to my job as a heating/cooling coach is enthusiasm for the potential of heat pumps to slash carbon emissions while (in many cases) saving money. My job isn’t to hard sell anyone, though. Abode Energy Management, in tandem with the Concord Municipal Light Plant, has hired me to help my fellow Concordians arrive at the best heating and cooling solutions for their homes and businesses, given their budgets and priorities, whether that involves heat pumps or just a free energy audit and some extra insulation.

Kim Slack photov2

Over the years, I've helped promote heat pumps and electric cars through Town programs, in an effort to build momentum towards more sustainable living. I'm a dad, an organic gardener and interested in the world my daughter will live in. My prior professional career was as a management consultant.

In 2018, we removed the oil furnace and added a heat pump to our 1955 Cape-style Concord home. This provided both heat and central cooling and made our home a comfortable, fossil free one. In the process, I learned about the benefits and issues with using a technology that is relatively unfamiliar in the northeastern US, but has been successfully used around the globe for many years. I appreciate the challenges many homes present, especially older homes. I'm familiar with the types of support homeowners may need as they consider heating and cooling options. 

Our aim is to make the process of switching to heat pumps easier while respecting the client’s needs and priorities. Our coaches are not HVAC professionals, but they do have a good understanding of heating and cooling systems, and should be able to answer specific questions. If need be, they’ll seek more in-depth technical input from the Heat Pump Specialist at Abode Energy Management, our Concord Clean Comfort Program Administrator.

Please note: during the COVID-19 pandemic, heating/cooling coaching services will be offered via video-conference, telephone, or in-person, but only if both client and coach choose to do so, with proper COVID-19 protocols followed.

The Customer agrees to waive any and all claims against Abode Energy Management, the Town of Concord, and the Concord Municipal Light Plant that may arise out of Abode's consultation with the Customer. Any and all contracts entered into by the Customer are solely between the Customer and their Contractor or Service Provider.

© 2021 HeatSmart Alliance

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

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