Heat Pumps & PV: Comfortable, Reliable, Affordable Path to Net Zero

Presented by: Thomas Tutor, Revision Energy, Portland, ME

This session will explore the growing popularity of combining high performance air source heat pumps with grid tied photovoltaic (PV) systems as a cost effective path to zero energy buildings in high performance new buildings. By considering real work examples, we will explore the designs and conditions which make an air source heat pumps suitable for use as primary heat in new construction, as well as when and how to consider the need for backup and/ or supplemental heat. We will also review system sizing logic for heat pumps and for solar systems to offset the electrical energy needed to heat in our climate.

About Thomas Tutor

Thomas grew up on a small island in Penobscot Bay with a year-round population of about 600 people where his father was his math teacher. He grew up understanding self-sufficiency as simply part of island life. When he was 16 he got an entirely new perspective on resiliency and community after his family switched places with the math teacher’s family in Herschel Village, South Africa, as part of a Fulbright teacher exchange program.

Thomas earned his BS in Economics from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia where he was the captain of the soccer team. After graduation he back-packed through South America, working in a design school for sustainable habitats, an artists cooperative, and multiple permaculture projects. He lasted 6 months before parasites and days on the road took their toll but he took many lessons about sustainability with him – not to mention a new-found appreciation for the Incans stoneworking skills and worship of the sun. Thomas jumped back into the family landscape/gardening/stonemasonry business when he returned to Islesboro and built a solar powered workshop for Hatch and Son’s.

Thomas moved to Portland in 2013 with the goal of getting involved in renewable energy. He became an Energy Advisor at ReVision Heat, tasked with helping Mainer’s save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint with practical investments in home heating and energy efficiency. He joined ReVision Energy in 2015 as a solar and heat pump design specialist and loves getting to climb around on roofs and communicate the many benefits of solar electricity to anyone who will listen.

When not helping Mainers get off of fossil fuels, Thomas makes Resurgam fermented hot sauce, plays soccer and basketball, climbs, and explores the outdoors as often as he can by scooter, ski, boat, bike, and foot.