March 30, 2018

In This Week's Pellet Wire:

Register for the PFI Annual Conference by March 30th (TODAY!) for a Chance to Win a Free Pellet Grill! 

It's not too early to register for the PFI Annual Conference taking place in Myrtle Beach, June 24-26! Hotel rooms are already filling up, so reserve your space today. As you may have heard, if you register TODAY, you will be entered into a drawing for a FREE Louisiana Pellet Grill!

The PFI Annual Conference highlights the various applications of densified biomass, as well as trends and best practices within the densified biomass industry. It attracts a broad range of individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, and local, state, and national governments from North America and beyond. The conference features two days of educational sessions as well as industry exhibits, extensive networking opportunities, and a golf tournament. The golf tournament is a great way to experience some friendly competition with your friends and colleagues in the industry while playing on a top-notch course. 

The agenda, previewed by Tim Portz in Nashville and here in Pellet Wire, is shaping up nicely. See the panels and information sessions we have in store on the PFI website

Massachusetts 2018 Wood Stove Change-out Program Offers Up to $1,750 Rebates for New Pellet Stoves

Do you sell product in New England? If so, you might want to tip off appliance retailers you work with that their customers may be eligible for rebates of up to $1,750 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker this week announced that the program will be funded for 2018 to the tune of $450,000, to be awarded to homeowners who replace their older stove models with new, EPA-certified wood or pellet stoves.

Please visit the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for more information on the 2018 Wood Stove Change-out Program. Please also see the article in the right-hand column. 

Send Us Photos
We're building a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills, and product. Send them to Carrie AnnandThanks to Lori Hamer with Hamer Pellet for the above photo. 

Domestic Pellet Fuels Sales Steady in December 2017

On March 20, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released its monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, giving an overview of the U.S. pellet fuels market in December.

Domestic pellet sales reached nearly 200,000 tons during the final month of 2017, a slight decrease from the previous month's total of just under 229,000 tons. Production held steady from the previous month at 127,731 cumulative tons for those pellet mills included in the survey.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets fell to 282,844 tons in December, down from 343,011 tons in November.

Please view the latest Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which also includes an overview of the export pellet market, on EIA's website; or read about it in Biomass Magazine

Congress Recognizes the Carbon Neutrality of Biomass (Again)

Biomass made an appearance in the Consolidated Appropriations Spending Act of 2018 (also known as the "omnibus spending bill"), which funded the government through September.

Included in the bill was a section recognizing the carbon neutrality of biomass. This language has been passed previously by Congress, but only on a temporary basis. The provision, which you can read below, declares biomass "carbon neutral" as long as biomass does not cause forests to be cut down.  

POLICIES RELATING TO BIOMASS ENERGY SEC. 431. To support the key role that forests in the United States can play in addressing the energy needs of the United States, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall, consistent with their missions, jointly-

  • Ensure that Federal policy relating to forest bioenergy-
    • is consistent across all Federal departments and agencies; and
    • recognizes the full benefits of the use of forest biomass for energy, conservation, and responsible forest management; and
  • Establish clear and simple policies for the use of forest biomass as an energy solution, including policies that- 
    • reflect the carbon-neutrality of forest bioenergy and recognize biomass as a renewable energy source, provided the use of forest biomass for energy production does not cause conversion of forests to non-forest use. 
    • encourage private investment throughout the forest biomass supply chain, including in- 
      • working forests; 
      • harvesting operations;
      • forest improvement operations;
    • encourage forest management to improve forest health; and
    • recognize State initiatives to produce and use forest biomass.

Become a 2018 PFI Sponsor in March

Don't miss the opportunity to sponsor PFI early in 2018! Sponsorship at all levels brings many perks, along with exposure for your company to the pellet fuels industry. By signing up to sponsor the association early in 2018, you will reap the benefits throughout the coming year.

The 2018 sponsorship packages include benefits such as:

  • PFI Annual Conference registrations
  • Company logo listed on the PFI website
  • 10x10 booth at the PFI Annual Conference
  • Weekly newsletter advertising
  • Website advertising
  • And more!

PFI's membership list includes more than 100 companies, and the Pellet Wire, our electronic newsletter, is sent to close to 2,000 subscribers every week. Now is the time to become a sponsor of this organization. Visit our website to explore how you can become involved.

We Need Your Input for PFI's 2018 Events

Are there any topics that you'd like to see addressed at PFI's Annual Conference in June? We'd like to hear from you. Nominate speakers, suggest panels, experts, themes and ideas. The Conference Committee wants to be sure to reflect the preferences and needs of PFI membership as much as possible.

Be sure to check our updated online calendar with information on many events happening during 2018. Most important, mark your calendars for next year's PFI events! 

If our calendar is missing any events that you're planning to attend, please send an email to Carrie

Follow PFI on Twitter, Friend Us on Facebook, and Connect with Us on LinkedIn 

We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Carrie Annand news or other ideas to post on LinkedIn.

Do You Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please be in touch with Carrie Annand with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news. 

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach, or grow the PFI Standards Program. Visit PFI's website for more information. 

Upcoming Industry Events

April 16, 2018: International Biomass Conference & Expo

May 1, 2018: Heating the Midwest

June 24 - 26, 2018: PFI Annual Conference 

Connect with PFI
Join PFI

Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member, pellet manufacturer, or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Industry News

Introducing Operation 100k
Biomass Magazine

In late February, Pellet Fuels Institute Chairman and producer member Stan Elliot represented our organization at the European Pellet Conference in Wels, Austria. The conference has become a significant meet and greet for anyone making pellets in or for the European market. While there, Stan told me that estimates for pellet appliance sales in selected markets were being shared, and that Italy saw 245,000 stoves sold and installed in 2017. France saw 100,000 appliances installed. Keep in mind, those totals were achieved in countries with 60 million and 66 million people, respectively, barely one-fifth of the population of the U.S. If the U.S. saw the per-capita new appliance sales the Italian market achieved last year, over 1.3 million new pellet appliances would have been sold. Even using modest per-unit consumption rates, we would be looking at 1 million tons of new demand in the home heating market.

While a comparison with the Italian market could very quickly turn into a discussion about policy and taxation differences, I offer these numbers up as a means of catalyzing a renewed conversation on the growth of the residential heating marketing in this country, those responsible for driving toward those goals, and how it all might be accomplished.

Read Full Article

Calculate the Benefits of a New Modern Wood Pellet Boiler
Canadian Biomass

Demand for premium wood pellets in the U.S. is dominated by households with wood pellet stoves. That is the opposite of some European nations such as Austria where the premium pellet sector is dominated by homes and businesses with pellet boilers (central heating systems).

The U.S. pellet stove market is based on pellets supplied in 40 pound bags. The growing U.S. pellet boiler market is based on bulk pellet delivery. Modern fully automatic pellet fuelled central heating systems do not require regular attention like pellet stoves because the pellet fuel is automatically delivered to the systems. Find a description of modern pellet boilers and the trucks that provide  pneumatic bulk delivery here.
The northern New England states in the U.S., which are highly dependent on heating oil, have led the nation in the growth of pellet boiler installations. Recent policy in Massachusetts will increase this growth significantly.

Massachusetts is now one of just a few states in the U.S. that have added "thermal RECs" to their support for renewable energy. Just like a standard renewable energy certificate (REC), thermal RECs allow the producer of the renewable energy to accrue one REC for every MWh of heat (rather than electricity) produced. The RECs can then be sold to provide a new revenue stream for homes and businesses with pellet boilers.

Read Full Article

State Kicks Off Campaign to Replace Wood Stoves
The Sun Chronicle, Massachusetts

Wood stoves are a way for home and business owners to assert their energy independence by using wood pellets or logs as an alternative heating fuel.

But many of those stoves were early models designed in the 1970s and '80s and lack the energy efficiency and cleaner burning capabilities of later models.

The administration of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito recently announced $450,000 in funding for the 2018 Woodstove Change-out Program that provides rebates to homeowners who replace older stoves with cleaner, EPA-certified models.

The announcement was made by state energy and environmental officials during a tour of the Fireplace Showcase in Seekonk owned by local businessman Randy Titsworth.

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute

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