March 17, 2014, Arlington, Va. – Pellet Fuels Institute Executive Director Jennifer Hedrick issued a statement on Friday to address high pellet fuel demand experienced in the Northeast in recent weeks.
March 17, 2014 By Pellet Fuels Institute
March 17, 2014, Arlington, Va. – Pellet Fuels Institute
Executive Director Jennifer Hedrick issued a statement on Friday to
address high pellet fuel demand experienced in the Northeast in recent weeks.
“This winter, several conditions have combined to lead to
higher demand for pellets than what has been considered normal over the last
few years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports
that the average temperature for the contiguous United States was 31.3 degrees
– the coldest in four years. The extreme and persistent cold weather has
required many residential pellet appliance owners to use a greater volume of
pellets than they would during an average winter, causing a lower availability
of pellets in some areas as we approach the end of winter.
“Americans are increasingly turning to pellet appliances to
heat their homes. Especially during a colder than normal winter that causes
higher fossil fuel heating costs, pellet fuels are efficient and considerably
more affordable than electricity and fossil fuels such as heating oil. It is
encouraging that so many people are realizing the benefits that pellet heat
delivers. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, pellet
appliance shipments – including stoves, furnaces, and fireplace inserts, for
example – increased twelve percent over the last year.
“Well over one million homeowners in the United States rely
on domestically produced wood pellet heat, and while this number grows every
year, the Pellet Fuels Institute manufacturer members nationwide still have
ample production capacity to meet that growing need.
“Although previous winters were marked with nearly universal
pellet fuel surpluses, pellet plant operators cannot predict the severity and
duration of each winter and perfectly match supply with demand. While some
parts of the country experienced shipping delays, overall the U.S. had capacity
available, just not always at the right place, price or time for all parts of
“While many competing heat sources such as propane and fuel
oil saw similar, if not compounded product delays and shortages, we don’t
believe any homeowner should be without pellet fuel.
“Our members and other industry providers are already
looking ahead and working together with dealers, retailers and consumers to
strengthen logistics and inventories for coming years.
“The Pellet Fuels Institute appreciates the trust that so
many consumers place in this growing industry. We urge consumers and retailers
to plan ahead when possible, and purchase pellets at times of lower demand,
like spring and summer, to not only assure their supply, but to aid in planning
for any eventuality.”
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