5 Factors Driving Wood Pellet Fuel Prices

Like any fuel, the price of wood pellets will inevitably fluctuate. However, even with their increasing popularity (pellet production has significantly increased over the last few years) wood pellet prices don’t get nearly as much attention as other fuels such as heating oil.  We realize our customers might have some questions about what factors determine wood pellet price changes. As always, we prefer to keep our customers as informed as possible. So, here are the top five factors influencing wood pellet pricing: 

 1. Industrial and European Demand

 The European Union has set a goal to obtain 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Because Europe does not produce enough timber to meet this type of demand, imports of wood pellets from the U.S are increasing. Fortunately, the entire wood pellet industry is undergoing huge structural changes that will ultimately help provide better stability and greater availability in the longer term as the production capacity in North America increases. However, in the short term, prices are being driven up by these new large customers overseas as the pellet mills have not been able to scale up production fast enough to keep prices from rising.  According to the European Pellet Council, global trade in wood pellets is expected to increase five- or six-fold to 60 million metric tons by 2020. As the diagram below demonstrates, wood pellets have quickly grown from a residential home heating alternative into an international energy and environmental super-power. 

Wood pellets import export, 2013 Map US to EU

(click to enlarge)

2. Cost of Sawdust and Lumber

As the industry has grown, the demand for raw materials to make pellets has gone way up.  Normally, this would drive up the costs for those materials considerably, but luckily we have the Internet to thank for keeping the cost increases due to raw materials mostly in check.  As the economy moves to electronic communications and away from paper, there is less demand for wood products from paper mills, which has (mostly) balanced out the increased demand from the pellet mills.

3. Other Energy Costs

Another factor that drives prices of wood pellets is the cost of fossil fuels – for two reasons.  First, most pellet mills are still powered by electricity and traditional fuels to make the pellets themselves.  Second, the cost to transport pellets via trains and trucks from the mills to people’s homes is mostly dependent on diesel fuel.  This still results in a lower overall environmental impact than using fossil fuels for heating, but it still affects the price of wood pellet production.

4. Customer Necessity

The need for residential wood pellet heating supply has increased overall, as well as in the short-term, as we saw most dramatically during pellet shortage in late February and early March of 2014. Although there were retailers who increased prices during the pellet shortage, we are proud to say that WoodPellets.com never raised prices.  We also never turned new customers away  - or stopped delivering pellets.

5. Pellet Quality

The best pellets take the best raw materials and the most exacting manufacturing process.  Even in cases when the other factors may not be changing on average, one or more of these factors may change specific to a particular product.  For example, the highest heat output and lowest ash pellets are made exclusively from Douglas Fir. – if the price of Douglas Fir changes, the price of pellets made of Douglas Fir will also change.

 

Even with these 5 Factors, the vast increase in demand is a testament to how pellet prices are remarkably stable and efficient vs. other heating fuels.  By burning 4 tons of pellets over the course of a winter, a typical family stands to save close to $700.  You can calculate your own savings with the Woodpellets.com Savings Calculator.

WoodPellets.com makes every effort to provide our customers with the best value in wood pellets – and to keep pricing as stable as possible.  By adding capacity, focusing on reducing distribution costs, and using the latest technology to improve our efficiency, we have been able to hold pellet pricing steady over the last couple years and minimize pricing changes even in the face of the huge changes in the industry.

Given the substantial economic and environmental benefits over traditional fossil fuels, we expect the demand for wood pellets to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.  From residential pellet stoves to replacing coal in electricity generation – wood pellets have become a very hot commodity. Pun intended!

To conclude, we strongly recommend you buy your pellets early this season.  Not only will you be able to take advantage of low Spring pricing, you’ll also avoid the risk of further pellet shortages.

Visit us online at www.woodpellets.com or Call 1-800-735-5387 for pricing and delivery options in your area!

 

Spring Stock Up Sale: Don’t miss out!

wood pellets online, wood pellets sale, woodpellets.com Now that Spring is finally here, it’s time for the Woodpellets.com Annual Spring Stock-up Sale! We encourage all of our customers, and potential customers, to stock up now. Buying pellets now will not only save you money, but it will keep you prepared for what the next heating season may bring.

The Stock-Up Sale will save you $15 per ton on softwood pellets, and $5 per ton on hardwood pellets.

Type in your zip code at www.woodpellets.com to get pricing and delivery options in your area. Or, you can always give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS (800-735-5387). We would love to hear from you!

If you’re concerned about storing your pellets this summer, don’t worry!  Check out our wood pellets summer storage tips.

Walk-in Bag Sales Now Available in Manchester NH

Wood Pellets Manchester, NH Demer's Garden Center

Starting April 2, 2014: Wood pellets are now available for walk-in pick-ups at Demer’s Garden Center (656 S Mammoth Rd, Manchester, NH).  No pre-pay required, and no more bag limits!

Although calling 1-800-PELLETS ahead of time is not required, we recommend you still call to place your order for your bags. This will ensure availability of your desired pellet type, and will also make the process easier when you pick-up.

At this time for Manchester walk-ins, Cleanfire Hardwood, Granules LG and Cleanfire Pacific brands are available. If you would like to order more than single bags (a ton/skid or more) please call 1-800-PELLETS (800-735-5387) to pre-order. If you prefer to just buy your desired amount of single bags, Demer’s Garden Center can take your information. Either way, you have the option of picking up your pellets at Demer’s.

 

Manchester, NH Pellet Pickup on Tuesday, April 1st: How to Order

Woodpellets.com is opening phone lines for pellet pickup orders at Demer’s Garden Center in Manchester, NH on MONDAY, March 31st at 8:30am. Prepayment is required, and customers must be able to pick up the order on TUESDAY the 1st between 5pm and 6pm.

NH Pellet PickupQuantities are limited, and orders will be allocated to the first phone orders. There is a 15 bag per customer maximum at this time for pickups.

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Why Was There a 2014 Wood Pellet Shortage? These 10 Reasons Might Surprise You.​

1. Can You Say Polar Vortex?

Polar Vortex
It wasn’t just cold, it was downright Antarctic. And we heard the same story repeated again and again from our customers – “I thought I had ordered enough wood pellets to get me through this winter, but I came up a ton short”. Now multiply that same experience by the 500,000 stoves in New England and you start to see why there was such a drastic shortage.
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Wood Pellet Pickup Update: Manchester, NH

wood pellets, Manchester, NH, pellet pickup, woodpellets.com

UPDATE: We are sold out for Monday 3/17 pickups. Please check back on Tuesday 3/18 for Wednesday 3/19 pickup availability!

Woodpellets.com is opening phone lines for pellet pickup orders at Demer’s Garden Center in Manchester, NH  today (Thursday, March 13th) at 9am. Prepayment is required, and customers must be able to pick up the order on Monday, March 17th.
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Demers Garden Center Pickup Update

We are currently out of allocation for bag sales this week at Demers Garden Center – but should have new availability as early as Monday, March 17th. Check back with our WoodPellets.com site for the latest information – or give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS. We have customer service representatives available to answer your questions and concerns.

Friday, March 14 UPDATE: Call us at 1-800-735-5387 on Tuesday the 18th to reserve bags for pickup on Wednesday, March 19th!

 

 

Is It Too Late to Order Pellets This Winter?

UPDATE: Lead times for delivery service has changed from up to three weeks, to within 7-10 days! Call us at 1-800-735-5387 to place your order now…it’s not too late!

Pellets!The pellets shortage of 2014 has made it nearly impossible to find pellets this March. And even if you live in a region served by our home delivery service, the lead time has now reached three weeks in many areas. But is it too late to order? No.

What we have been telling customers is to “get in line” because nobody knows what might happen in the next couple weeks.

If the shortage ends abruptly and you don’t need the fuel – simply cancel the order. We don’t require any prepayment.

But if the winter continues even longer, or the shortage gets worse – you’ll be glad you secured your place in line.

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