Canadian Biomass Magazine

WPAC identifies Ontario pellet heat market

February 24, 2013
By Scott Jamieson

February 24, 2013, Toronto - In a presentation to the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) executive director Gordon Murray identified a potential market for wood pellet residential heating that could create 900 to 90,000 jobs.

The presentation, available at the WPAC website, isolates the 32 per cent of Ontario homes that currently do not have access to natural gas, and thus are heating with propane, wood, oil, or electricity. In comparing the relative heating costs of each, Murray notes that wood pellet heating is the second cheapest option for Ontario homeowners after natural gas, and is by far the lowest-cost alternative for those off the pipeline. According to WPAC, costs for heating with wood pellets is less than half the cost of heating oil and more than 70% cheaper than staying warm with electricity in Ontario.

By targeting a 10 per cent conversion rate, Murray says the province could create 9,000 full time jobs producing 900,000 tonnes of wood pellets and $240 million in value. To get there, Murray suggests the province implement incentive programs for residential pellet heat along the same lines as programs to support natural gas appliances or renewable electricity. 

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