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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Congregation Or Shalom wins national energy-saving award

Congregation Or Shalom of Orange has been named one of three national recipients of the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection’s Energy Star Congregations Award in recognition of its efforts to save energy and provide stewardship for the environment.
Congregation Or Shalom, a Conservative synagogue with a membership of about 350 families, began improving its energy efficiency more than a year ago and has reduced operating expenses by more than $1,400 a year, congregation officials said.
Many families are involved. Their efforts included switching to a solar-powered eternal light; turning off lights and turning down thermostats for efficient operation; installing compact fluorescent bulbs and lighting control; installing new parking lot timer devices; replacing five less energy-efficient computers and a copier; and regularly servicing heating and air conditioning systems to ensure peak performance.
"Our energy strategy is synergistic with Jewish law and tradition, which emphasizes respect and taking care of our environment and resources," Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus, Congregation Or Shalom’s spiritual leader, said in a statement.
"The visual energy savings effort created a pride and enthusiasm with the congregation and with the community at large," he said.
Wainhaus, who includes energy conservation in sermons and community activities, also led a temple energy awareness day that featured presentations by a local company and the sale of fluorescent light bulbs to members and to the community at cost, the statement said.
The other EPA honorees were Dennis Union Church of Dennis, Mass., and Starkey United Methodist Church of Starkey, Nev.


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