Dunkin Donuts Gets Solar

When you live in New England, and the Boston area in particular, youcome to love Dunkin’ Donuts for a number of reasons. The way orderingyour coffee “regular” gets you cream and sugar; the fact that whenespresso drinks came on board, it was with 100% fair-trade espressobeans; the way you can walk 100 yards in any direction and bump intoone (seriously, my home town has a Dunkin for every 4000 people). Andnow, we can love the fact that three local franchises are going green.

Owners of Dunkin’ Donuts shops in Attleboro, Rehobothand Taunton, as well as stores in Florida, [brothers-in-law Richard]Demers and [Roger] Deslauriers have outfitted their stores with solarpanels, tankless hot water systems, automatic faucets and lightswitches and installed LED lights for their parking lots. (Wicked Local)

The roughly 9kw worth of solar panels provide about 10% of thestores’ total electric needs. Maybe the St. Petersburg, FL, store thatheralded the chain’s foray into LEED-certified designwill follow suit and add solar panels to complement its array ofenergy-saving technologies (including a vermiculture bin for organicwaste). For a chain that was founded in 1950, Dunkin’ doesn’t seem toofazed by the pressures of a changing time.

One reason it’s so satisfying to read about three franchiselocations of a national coffee chain going solar is that it brings homesolar’s attainability. You don’t need to run an auto manufacturingplant, or own acres of flat-roofed warehouses, or be a billionaire inorder to make solar work. You can have a small shop, a limited amountof roof space, and modest goals. Small businesses can use solar to makea real statement to their customers while making a sound financialinvestment. How sound? That depends on local and state incentivesavailable. If you’re a small business owner thinking about going solar, let us know–we can help you decide if solar is right for you.

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