The favorite new topping for green business consultant Art Krebs’s Dunkin Donuts fare isn’t maple or chocolate sprinkles – it’s a new kind of glaze called solar photovoltaics (PV). And it is the integrated equation of 8.9kW of electricity-generating solar panels, tankless hot water systems, automatic faucets, light switches and LED lot-lights that ensure those who frequent the Dunkin Donuts shops owned by Roger Deslauriers and Richard Demers (clients of Krebs’ brother-in-law) are enjoying one green cup of joe.
The Deslauriers engaged National Solar Tour organizer Krebs and his company Construction Art to identify the fastest and most effective ways to cut energy consumption and reduce their carbon footprint. They wanted to not only reduce their operational costs, but share the benefits of their investments with their customers. Tax credits, rebates and Krebs’s energy saving strategies helped them recoup approximately 70% of their initial investment. The solar energy solution itself has offset 10% of the store’s overall energy consumption.
The rewarding feedback the men are receiving from this project has inspired them to introduce similar solutions at other Dunkin Donuts. And the solar solution on its rooftop makes this quaint little shop the tucked away the cozy Massachusetts community of South Main Attleboro the nation’s first quick-service restaurant to utilize solar energy to cut its costs. In less than 60 days, the men’s Attleboro and two sister stores have generated enough energy to power 40 houses for a day and reduce their carbon footprint by 4,555 pounds of CO2. They’ve also offset emissions equivalent to driving a car for 159 consecutive days. Their solar energy systems alone will reduce 2,221,800 lbs. of CO2 equivalent to energy to power 6000 houses for a day, and reduce pollution equivalent to driving a car for over 4,608,350 miles. In addition, the site’s new water control system will save approximately 36,792 gallons each year.
“These results are the direct effect from only three average size Dunkin Donuts stores,” said Krebs. “Imagine how much more we could achieve if the hundreds of thousands of quick-service restaurants in the country got on board. That is our goal — it dovetails with the National Solar Tour’s Goal of inspiring people to explore their available options to start helping the environment, while serving up a little green for their wallets.”