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Any updated Pellet pricing now that we're into August?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by PutnamJct, Aug 3, 2006.

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  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I would think that the most successful pellet operations already have the wood for making something like plywood, etc. The massive amounts of sawdust they were creating might be a liability until they started making pellets. Either that or you have a large mill right next door.

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  2. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    Sutherlands is also a national company. Although the stores operate somewhat independently, I'd bet they are doing a collective order for many stores and having the individuals order from a central office and Eureka ships to the stores.

    I have a little info on a company in Idaho. I don't have any affiliation with them. In the small town of Ovid, Idaho, Southeast corner is a hardware store that makes pellets. Got a good referral from a long time pellet user. I called and asked about availability. They said they are making them every day, but Sunday. As we talked he said they were loading their third or fourth semi of the day. They prefer selling in 22's, but will sell to "retail users" at $139 per ton. Limit of 4 tons. I think they are discouraging entrepeanuers. They ship to a store in SLC who retail them at $225. The store is 300 miles round trip, but I'd have to load by hand. Won't load a standard van with a fork-lift and won't load my Wells-Cargo because it has a ramp door. So three tons would take me all day to pick load and return. If you have a larger truck, or a no side flat bed trailer they seem ready to please. If you were buying a truck load (22) give them a call. Their number is Jensen Hardware. (208) 847-0889.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    when i was out looking at the new quad stove, they made a statement that i cant verify, but they said on average, 2 mills a year come online, this year 30 came online. If thats true, pellets should hold at current market price and stay there. I can tell you this, no matter where you find pellets, $3 $4 $5 bucks a bad, the person selling them arent making money. the margin is so thin that there not worth it. You have to carry them to service the customers you sold stoves too. Some dealers just refer there customers to the big box, the problem is they dont carry much after x mas. Last year, my pellets went as high as 7 bucks a bag, i was paying almost 6 bucks a bag wholesale.
  4. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Genny Light??? If you have to drink Genny Light, you are paying FAR too much for your wood. Try switching to electric heat, it will be cheaper!

    Genny... ugh... and don't forget that other upstate classic, Genny Cream Ale, now that just says it all... Cream Ale. Who the hell had that brainstorm of an idea? Cream Ale... I'd rather drink straight from the Erie Canal! Christ, someone should run up to Rochester and stop this madness...

    And while we're at it, what really is going on there in Matt's Brewery over in Utica... Saranac?

    -- Mike
  5. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    rarely, if ever, do retailers get their pellets by railcar. We were going to buy some pellets last season by rail, actually ordered some, but they never showed up from the west coast. When adding in the shipping and the logistics of unloading (need to put a lift in the car to unload it, for us, could only be done at the local transfer yard, for a fee), they werent any cheaper. Last year, it was more a year that if you had pellets, you could sell them. In New England pellets go in short supply. This year, there seems to be more pellets available in New England, and Im hoping this will have some downward pressure on price. New England Pellets is installing a bagging plany fairly nearby, with somewhere around 80,000 tons/year there, they are building a pellet mill in New York as well. Cubex currently owns ALOT of softwood product in Westfield, MA. Got wind of another company makeing pellets in eastern MA (Saugus, Seekonk...dont recall), and their pellets are to be made from construction waste...a bit leery of those.
    Most mills do contract for wood. I imagine their biggest competition for wood is likely power plants and paper mills.
    Sadly as well, I also have the belief that a good part of regional price variations are due to profit. In our 2 step distribution process, the wholesaler sells the pellets for what they feel the market will bear. Then the retailer does the same thing. I dont see many areas of the country more expensive than New England, and the difference isnt a little bit, its alot. The shipping isnt any further than the folks out west have either. Since, in New England folks are used to paying alot, does it follow that possibly someones making more money here than other regions? I suspect so. I dont blame them for this, thats Capitalism.
    Here in New England as well, there is a mindset that hardwood pellets are the only way to go. Folks seem to feel that softwood pellets burn fast and dont heat as well. So, they buy the hardwoods, only buying softwoods when hardwoods are too costly or unavailable. Softwood is really no cheaper than hardwood tho, due to shipping. Ive burned them all. In my opinion, there is no noticeable heat difference. The only difference I see is the glass seems to get dirtier faster with softwoods.

    I dont agree that you cannot make money with pellets. Of course you can. Do you sell many things below cost or at cost, MSG? I didnt think so. So, dont be bashful about making SOMETHING on your pellets! Sell them early in the season, when the "big boxes" dont have them....do a preseason sale. Get the folks burning to understand that by buying early they guarantee theyll have pellets for cold weather! These wood scroungers who abound on this board, are working early to put their wood in place long before they need it....why not do the same with pellets? You have to mark them up to make a profit is all. Forget about "matching the competition" as well. Make what you feel is FAIR. Dont get greedy. If the average price of pellets seems to be going up, raise your prices! Frequently, at or about this time of year, my competition runs out of pellets. I get those sales. We'll deliver almost anywhere, but there is a delivery charge, priced accordingly. I sell pellets early in an attempt to saturate at least a bit of the marketplace before the big boxes come in with their pellets. My biggest problem is figuring out a way to sell even more pellets. Id like to sell folks tractor-trailer loads. Id given them a good price, picked up at my facility, they arrange the trucking. Id like it all to go in one big swoop (as per the truck-trailer), that way, its easier to keep track of....ow- typers cramp!
  6. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
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    rarely, if ever, do retailers get their pellets by railcar. We were going to buy some pellets last season by rail, actually ordered some, but they never showed up from the west coast. When adding in the shipping and the logistics of unloading (need to put a lift in the car to unload it, for us, could only be done at the local transfer yard, for a fee), they werent any cheaper. Also, sometimes the pellets come in in good shape, but sometimes they come in pretty torn and ragged in the car.....customers hate torn and ragged...for every torn bag we have on a skid, we give the customer another, and thatd get costly if there were alot. Last year, it was more a year that if you had pellets, you could sell them. In New England pellets go in short supply. This year, there seems to be more pellets available in New England, and Im hoping this will have some downward pressure on price. New England Pellets is installing a bagging plany fairly nearby, with somewhere around 80,000 tons/year there, they are building a pellet mill in New York as well. Cubex currently owns ALOT of softwood product in Westfield, MA. Got wind of another company makeing pellets in eastern MA (Saugus, Seekonk...dont recall), and their pellets are to be made from construction waste...a bit leery of those.
    Most mills do contract for wood. I imagine their biggest competition for wood is likely power plants and paper mills.
    Sadly as well, I also have the belief that a good part of regional price variations are due to profit. In our 2 step distribution process, the wholesaler sells the pellets for what they feel the market will bear. Then the retailer does the same thing. I dont see many areas of the country more expensive than New England, and the difference isnt a little bit, its alot. The shipping isnt any further than the folks out west have either. Since, in New England folks are used to paying alot, does it follow that possibly someones making more money here than other regions? I suspect so. I dont blame them for this, thats Capitalism.
    Here in New England as well, there is a mindset that hardwood pellets are the only way to go. Folks seem to feel that softwood pellets burn fast and dont heat as well. So, they buy the hardwoods, only buying softwoods when hardwoods are too costly or unavailable. Softwood is really no cheaper than hardwood tho, due to shipping. Ive burned them all. In my opinion, there is no noticeable heat difference. The only difference I see is the glass seems to get dirtier faster with softwoods.

    I dont agree that you cannot make money with pellets. Of course you can. Do you sell many things below cost or at cost, MSG? I didnt think so. So, dont be bashful about making SOMETHING on your pellets! Sell them early in the season, when the "big boxes" dont have them....do a preseason sale. Get the folks burning to understand that by buying early they guarantee theyll have pellets for cold weather! These wood scroungers who abound on this board, are working early to put their wood in place long before they need it....why not do the same with pellets? You have to mark them up to make a profit is all. Forget about "matching the competition" as well. Make what you feel is FAIR. Dont get greedy. If the average price of pellets seems to be going up, raise your prices! Frequently, at or about this time of year, my competition runs out of pellets. I get those sales. We'll deliver almost anywhere, but there is a delivery charge, priced accordingly. I sell pellets early in an attempt to saturate at least a bit of the marketplace before the big boxes come in with their pellets. My biggest problem is figuring out a way to sell even more pellets. Id like to sell folks tractor-trailer loads. Id given them a good price, picked up at my facility, they arrange the trucking. Id like it all to go in one big swoop (as per the truck-trailer), that way, its easier to keep track of....ow- typers cramp!
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Have you burned them in your stove? Thats a great price, And idea what grade they are? It to expensive getting pellets west of us, the moutain passes make it expesive, we have to buy our pellets north or east of us.
  8. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Have you burned them in your stove? Thats a great price, And idea what grade they are? It to expensive getting pellets west of us, the moutain passes make it expesive, we have to buy our pellets north or east of us. Its cheaper to get out pellets out of missouri then it is out of nevada.
  9. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I found some off the West Coast for 139 per ton. Have to buy a rail car load to make shipping feasable and then would have to sell them at 4.50 per bag just to break even. Sutherlands has raised their prices to 3.80 per bag here (Heartland pellets) which puts them way out of line for an NG-Pellet comparison. It's strange though even if I show people teh math prove that pellets are more expensive to burn than a gas stove, they're still convinced their saving $$ over NG. The propane guys are still saving a bundle though.
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    yea at 5 bucks a bag, its almost $16.50 for a million btus, at the currentt nat gas rate here, $10 per million... huge difference. Electicity, fuel oil. and propane arent even close.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Ain't it amazing? I have drank regular and light beers all over the world and the only two lights with taste that I like are Amstel Light and Genny Light. Just no accounting for taste I guess. If Genny Light cost twice as much or more I would still buy it.

    Hopefully the rest of the world will keep thinking Genny is crap so the price stays down.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If one is comparing a pellet stove to a very efficicent nat. gas stove in the heating envelope, then this is true is many areas... for the moment. But sometimes folks are heating via a natural gas central furnace or ducting that's in a cold basement or crawspace. They can be battling a lot of heat loss. It would be better to remedy that situation first, but sometimes that is a challenge. In that case the pellets may be a better economic choice because most of the heat output is in the house envelope and the losses are much less.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Pellets here are still holding at around $4.50/bag and $180/ton for the 6th yr. since I've been tracking it. Can get it as low as $140/ton if one has a truck and are willing to travel to the mill. The local grocery store sells a cheaper variety for $3.99/bag. For nat. gas, we're around 1.13/therm. Expectation is that this is only heading upward due to flat supplies and increasing demand.

    http://www.energyshop.com/es/homes/gas/gaspriceforecast.cfm
  14. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    ohh yes Begreen, im talking like appliances. Nat gas stove vs a pellet stove, with the same btu output. You can buy a 40k btu gas stove that is 85% efficient, and pay 10 bucks per million, or you can buy a 40k btu pellet stove for 3k and pay $16 per million for fuel. If you have nat gas, i dont know why you would condider pellet, unless you want to be doing the right thing and not burning a fossil fuel.
  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    nat gas would have to reach a 1.50/therm to meet current pellet prices, and the bad news is, pellets prices will always be a percentage higher then nat gas. Once again, we are not talking furnaces here, just zone appliances.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Given the trend, I would ask, what does one want to be burning 3-5 years from now when those thousands of new wells in Wyoming stop passing gas?
  17. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    hydrogen?
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    LOL :)

    get out the cheap beer and chili - homemade methane
  19. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    When I figure the cost of fuel I simply take into account the cost per btu. If you start getting efficiencies involved then pellets tend to look even worse.
  20. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    Well, the way efficiencies are calculated is pretty whack. My oil furnace (originally a coal furnace, converted to oil sometime in the 1950s) is rated at 78%. But that doesn't take into account that the heat is transferred via 'gravity feed' - very slow, and I think a lot of heat is lost during the process. I would guess the efficieny of the whole system is more like 50%

    I think a better way of measuring efficiency is to place the heater into a 'standard house' and see how much fuel it takes to raise the temperature of the house 30 C above ambient for 12 hours.

    you could also compare forced hot water to forced air, play around with the WHOLE system. that would give you real data.
  21. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    [quote author="Anton Smirnov" date="1155850819"]Well, the way efficiencies are calculated is pretty whack. My oil furnace (originally a coal furnace, converted to oil sometimeyou could also compare forced hot water to forced air, play around with the WHOLE system. that would give you real data.[/quote


    Some time ago I lived in Syracuse, NY. My house was heated by an Octypus Furnace. Convection originally a coal burner, coverted to gas. Huge asbestos covered pipes in the basement going to grills on all floors and rooms. No blower, no pumps, no need for electrics, except the thermostat. My house was a three story, good ., but old insulated with storm windows. Several times a year the power went out, Ice Storms. The irony is that my house was the only one on the block with heat after 12 hours. I openned up for the neighbors. The original system was probably 30-40% efficient, but the NG-retro-fit burner was great, and would operate with a flip of a switch when the power was out. My 70+ neighbors had a key, and would move over when the temp got tooo low. When they built this house, circa 1900 they were concerned about costs for heating.

    The long winded part is done. Sometimes there are people smarter than we who have thought through these issues. If you use a cheap energy source, good for you. If gas is cheap, or wood, or switch grass, share your skill in using the available resource. May help us SLUGS. I have had it with the NG supplier here, Salt Lake City. They have screwed me for my business and home for too many years. Many have asked for rates, but Utah has made it impossible to calculate the cost per million Btu. The rate varies based on............... Told them last year to calculate based on the zero use base. I am now using a pellet stove, last yeat I heated ZONES with kerosene heaters. There are no ultimate good guyes. There are only those who can be honest with the information they have.
  22. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Who has a pellet source (sources) on Long Island, and what are they charging?

    I looked at the (new?) Harman PB105 Pellet Boiler, and actually drooled a little bit. Pop that sucker in the basement next to the dinosaur burner, set up a pellet bin and a chute, and plumb it into my existing 3 zone heating system. I just have no clue where to get pellets on the island (even if I am on the bitter end of it), and how much they charge.

    -- Mike
  23. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    The PB105 is brand new......suggestion.....give it a year, let em work out the bugs first!
  24. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Harry,

    I totally agree... and not to worry, I have 3 cord of wood either already delivered or on order for this year, so the 06-07 heating season here is covered... with logs!

    But, that boiler looks nice. I wonder if it can direct vent? Plus, I wonder a lot of other things... what's it cost, what do pellets cost around here, what the heck do I do if my nearest dealer is 75 miles away, you know, the usual "wonder" things when one contemplates a new toy...er... I mean, high efficiency heating system.

    -- Mike
  25. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Saw the PB105 at the Salt Lake City show.....yea, direct vent, very serviceable! Youve gotta find a dealer close by who will sell the unit, or find one further away who will service it. Noone really knows anything about this, other than what theyve read. Ive seen and touched one, but without a air amount of them out in the field, with folks testing and troubleshooting, Id wait a bit.
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