In 2005-2006, the company had a new energy efficient office built to above R-2000 energy efficiency standards. Click here for more info on R-2000.
This business took advantage of an EOS solar bulk purchase and installed 30 solar panels on their roof in December of 2019. The system was not operational until June of 2020 because of delays caused by the pandemic. Each panel is 300 watts, so it is a 9-kilowatt system. The space on the south facing part of the roof was filled with as many panels as possible to take advantage of the ideal location, and the rest of the panels were installed on the part of the roof that faces southeast (see photo).
So far, the solar panel system has generated 15,880 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is equivalent to preventing 11.3 metric tons of CO2 from being produced. Source: https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator
Between July 2020 and July 2021, 9,000 kilowatt hours of solar energy was generated. This made up 38% of the energy used by the building over the year, which equals $1,340 of cost savings. The $22,000 system will be paid for in 15-16 years and represents a 6% return on investment.
The business gets an arborist to visit the property yearly in order to trim tree branches. There was some additional trimming needed before the solar system was installed, but no trees had to be cut down.
The dentist office goes through a gallon of distilled water a day for use in steam autoclaves and dental chairs. By distilling their own tap water since 2006, the use of plastic bottles from purchasing distilled bottled water is significantly reduced.
In 2008, Dr. Priemer’s office switched from using a wet suction pump, which used tap water, to a dry vacuum, which doesn’t use water at all. This new pump requires less maintenance and has resulted in a 60% decrease in the water bill. All toilets in the building are low flush units. The water is shut off at night with a switch, to avoid any accidental leaks or flooding.
In 2019-2020, the office participated in the NB Power LED Lighting Exchange Program. It was a $3,000 investment, that will pay for itself in 6 years, as it has resulted in $500/year savings on the power bill.
The dentist office has gone paperless for the most part and uses recycled paper when they do need to print something. They also use a Brother laser printer, which has the advantage of having a printer cartridge recycling program. When they return the cartridges, they receive a discount on their next purchase.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the office made the decision in invest in reusable PPE gowns that can be washed, as opposed to using disposable gowns. They purchased the reusable gowns from a company in Quebec. They use True Earth Eco detergent strips that come in plastic-free packages. They also use concentrated cleaning solutions in the ultrasonic cleaning baths for instruments to reduce plastic waste. Their dental instruments are medical grade stainless steel, and when they wear out, the company has a recycling program where you can send the old instruments back and get a credit on your next purchase.
Dr. Priemer Family Dentistry would love to be able to sort their waste so some of it can be recycled. They are actually sorting their waste now, so that they will be ready for when they have a divided dumpster, but currently, all waste goes into one dumpster and is carted off to the landfill. This is what the rest of the business community in Sackville is doing as well. Dr. Priemer wishes that the Town of Sackville had an incentive program for businesses to switch to sorting their waste.