Special to The Hamilton Spectator
(Dec 26, 2008)
The stained glass windows of Melrose United Church have brought light to worshippers for decades. They are now bringing something else in -- the cold.
No one knows how to fix the windows, said church member Mathew Xagoraris, but something will have to be done. Fixing the windows is part of a plan at the church on Homewood Avenue to save money by conserving energy. Other changes include replacing a 20-year-old industrial refrigerator for about $3,000.
In April, an environmental auditing company scoured the old stone building to find features that are driving up heat and hydro bills. The church is waiting for the results.
Saving cash isn't the only reason behind the push to cut energy use. "Reducing your personal footprint on the Earth is very much in line with religion and spirituality," Xagoraris said.
The church is also offering advice to members about cutting energy costs in their homes. Last month, about 50 people learned over breakfast how to fix a drafty house and cut their heating bill in half.
Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko is project manager for Environment Hamilton, a nonprofit group that put on the workshop. She said it is talking with 60 other faith groups about setting up similar programs.