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Have you ever wondered how energy efficient your home or business is or could be? Sustainable Kingston, a growing Non-profit, headed up by COO, Cedric Pepelea and his three staff can help you answer both of those questions.
Speaking to the Rotary Club of Kingston, Pepelea said, “Sustainable Kingston offers a ‘coaching’ service to households and businesses, beginning with an audit of your energy efficiency, recommends retrofit options, and assists with accessing various government financing programs.”
Cedric Pepelea, originally from Beaconsfield, QC, he graduated from St. Lawrence College, in 2016 as an Energy Systems Engineering Technologist specializing in renewable energy generation, the conservation of energy, and research and development. He now also teaches part-time in the program. In the past Cedric has worked with an Indigenous community in Northern Quebec and with Indigenous youth in sustainability and the non-profit Red Squirrel Conservation Services.
In December of 2021 the services offered by Red Squirrel merged with Sustainability Kingston, under the latter’s name. The merger broadening the scope to include promotion of energy efficiency in buildings and fundraising events. In so doing, he provides energy audits, recommendations on retrofits, and helps to navigate the various funding sources for retrofits from all three levels of government.
Sustainable Kingston’s energy advisors can help you qualify for a Canada Greener Homes Grant of up to $5,600 or if you are an Enbridge/Union Gas customer an energy assessment can help you qualify for a rebate on a new energy-efficient furnace/boiler, water heater or windows, doors or skylights while the Better Homes Kingston program encourage homeowners to undertake deep-energy retrofits.

Three Home Energy Grant Programs

Kingston homeowners who participate in the program can qualify for a local improvement charge (LIC) financing of up to $40,000 loans at 0% interest. To qualify, homes must have been built prior to 1991 and funding ‘maxes’ out at $10,000. Such loans are held against the property, not the individual, and repayments are a part of the tax invoice annually. Renters and Condo owners currently fall outside of the grant’s parameters.
Roughly half of the funding for Sustainable Kingston comes from the city while the other half comes from fee for services rendered. In 2021, Sustainable Kingston audited about 700 facilities. Since his April 11 restart, Pepelea and the staff have been swamped with requests.
Pepelea also handles commercial audits. In that regard, he paid special tribute to Rotarian Sherri Agnew, owner of J.E. Agnew Food Services, who received the Sustainable Kingston Award for the greatest percentage reduction of its carbon footprint of 56.9%.
Sustainable Kingston also manages a volunteer program. Community businesses and organizations, including our Rotary club, to collaborate on projects such as Pitch-in Kingston.
They also host events such as fundraisers during the year like Mobilize for Climate Change on 16 May and Cycle Week in June, partnering with Cycle Kingston.
Under Pepelea’s mentorship, Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College students are developing a volunteer hub to assist smaller enterprises.
Cedric also spoke enthusiastically about a de-paving project on Wolfe Island. The plan is to turn a waterfront parking lot adjacent to the old dock into a lawn and garden, thus absorbing rain rather than contributing to runoff.