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"Food for thought" or "let the bashing begin"

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by dpapagolos, Sep 10, 2008.

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  1. dpapagolos

    dpapagolos New Member

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    SE MA
    So. I did all my research fought with the wife bought a pellet stove and 3 tons of pellets. Now OIL price look to be dropping faster than Harman can deliver stoves. Well I have a Breckwell SP23I Insert still on the crate in my garage that I have not installed yet. Now here comes the fun part. Should I sell it given the cost of oil coming down? I am pretty sure I an sell it for what I paid for it. Is oil going back up. I could use the $2000 I paid for the stove, you know for food and stuff. What do you all think? This should make good conversation
    Dan

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  2. imacman

    imacman Guest

    IMO, it's a crap shoot.....I really don't expect oil to stay low. Hurricanes, political instability, refinery problems are all possible reasons to raise prices in the future.

    Personally, I would keep the stove, so when the oil price goes back up, you won't be running around looking for a stove again.

    Just my 2 cents.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Northern IL
    Liquid fuel is a very volatile market my friend. We also have a limited amount to be had. It will go back up. Maybe not next week, maybe not next month, but it will. That I will assure you.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Heck, I'm looking for a boat. The difference is that I don't think it is going to save me money.

    I consider a pellet stove a luxury item, and usually a "choice", not a necessity. Some people, myself included, don't feel complete without a stove. If you really want the benefits of a pellet stove - the warmth in one area, the fire, the idea of a renewable fuel - and if you can live with the "cons" (noise, cost, service, etc.), then by all means install it.

    However, if the money can go better for something else - then that is a valid decision. Oil will always vary. Pellets will always vary. The difference between the two will always very. For me, a lot of it depends on my time......if I have lots of extra time, then the hassle or wood or pellets does not affect me, and might even help me get through the day (something to do). But if time and money are tight, I might rather do something else (like work) which in some cases saves me more money than burning the wood or pellets.

    I guess, in summary, my feeling is that most people who use wood or pellets should ENJOY doing so, and if it is drudgery then it becomes less exciting.
  5. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

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    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    Having worked in the industry for nearly twenty years, I can tell you the price of heating oil does not follow the price of crude. Crude oil is used for many other products besides fuel. All of these other markets impact the cost for fuel feed stocks. Refining capacity and inventories plays an even bigger role in the price paid on the street. Perfect example is how much crude has fallen yet fuels have not followed at the same rate. With OPEC cutting production and refiners not keeping up (steady to falling inventories) I would expect the price of heating oil to remain steady in the near future. If we have a early and/or cold start to winter prices may escalate rapidly. IMO????? Keep the pellet stove. In a couple of more years with our do-nothing congress I would not expect to see any changes in crude production or more importantly refining capacity.
  6. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    With all due respect, the fact that you are considering selling the stove makes me think that you probably should. Pellet stoves are not for everyone, and i'm pretty convinced that there will be a lot of them on Craig's List next Spring as they will not meet the expectations of a lot of new owners. Clearly, you CAN save money with a pellet stove...but it takes a while to realize ROI. I think that people who are only interested in saving money may be more inclined to slip on maintenence, which can lead to poor performance and stove failure...which can push the ROI out indefinitely.
    getting the 2K plus 900 or so dollars back for the pellets might be the right answer for you. Certainly there is some benefit to having that cash in your pocket, or maybe even buying up a tank of oil at today's prices.
    As far as where oil prices are headed this winter that is anybody's guess. Having a pellet stove and 3 tons on hand is a nice way to hedge your bets if prices go north of 5.00, but you should realize that no matter what you're not going to see a return on your investment this year. Many folks won't hit the point where there stove is paying them back until season 3 or 4 (or later for some of those who dropped 6K or more).

    I saw an Ad on Craig's list yesterday where a guy was looking to "lease" a pellet stove. He mentioned that he would pay handsomely for the opportunity to rent a stove this winter and determine whether it was right for his family. I doubt he'll get any takers, but I think he has the right idea trying to go with a test drive before investing a huge amount of cash.

    So there are my 2 cents. I don't have any agenda other than to give you my perspective. I have 2 pellets stoves and I LOVE them. I love that I save a few bucks, love that I am being (somewhat) green, love the heat they throw, love to see them burning, love cleaning them every week, love shuffling pellets around, and I even enjoy replacing the occasional igniter, blower or whatever else.
    Many people like the potential $ savings and the green aspect, but they (understandably) have zero interest in the other stuff.
    Just know what you are getting yourself inot and make sure you are cool with every aspect of the decision.
  7. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    461
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    The only thing I can add to the mix is to consider your initial reasons for purchasing your pellet stove. Myself, after having taken the plunge, purchased and installed my new stove this summer, I can now reflect on my honest reasons for my expenditures for the stove and accessories and pellets - just at $4,000.00 investment. Here are my reasons in order of priority:

    1. COST OF FUEL OIL - We all have our limits and we reached ours as far as the high cost of fuel oil and it was time to consider an alternative and actually DO SOMETHING about it.

    2. AT THE MERCY OF FOREIGN OIL SUPPLIERS - We are fed up with the absolute uncertainty of the unpredictable fuel oil prices and constantly wonder about the future availability of oil.

    3. IN-HOUSE SOURCE OF FUEL - To inlude Canadian made pellets, they are manufactured in North America and providing local jobs!

    4. DOING OUR PART - To help in the reduction of:

    a. Dependence on foreign oil.
    b. Polution.
    c. Environmental impact.

    5. WHATEVER ELSE

    The most important thing to consider is that winter has not even begun yet. As has happened so many times in the past, a drop in fuel prices after a large increase always seems to appease many, but it also precedes the preverbial new increase in fuel costs. The demand for fuel oil is about to begin its annual jump as the cold weather arrives - THERE IS NO DOUBT that the cost of all fuels will go up.

    No one knows all the specifics of your life, your needs, wants, finances, etc. so we cannot begin to advise you on what to do. Just sit and make a list of the pros and cons - keeping the stove or selling it. You'll make an informed decision for yourself and know that no matter what happens in the next several months, you made the right choice at the time and you can live with that.

    Good luck!

    Steve
  8. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    I would install it and enjoy it! The pros far outweigh the cons....ESPECIALLY in the wallet. Oil is so very unpredictable. Look at OPECs new meeting. I installed my pellet stove in the middle of winter last year after pondering the thought for over a year. I wished I had done it sooner. I have saved LOTS of cash in that short amount of time. And now it gives me an "option" that if oil jumps...then I use pellets and vice versa. Pellets will never be up there with oil in price...people will go with oil out of ease....

    I say install....u wont regret it.
  9. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    World demand for oil and steel will only increase and so will prices.
    Install it and be done .Next heating season oil prices and stove prices will be even higher.
  10. kilarney

    kilarney New Member

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    Loc:
    Vermont
    I suspect that oil is going to settle to around $90 per barrel. But what do I know?

    The nice thing about keeping the stove is that you don't have to panic the next time oil spikes - and it WILL spike.
  11. TboneMan

    TboneMan Member

    Joined:
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    252
    Loc:
    Central NY
    I bought my stove last year and had it installed just before Thanksgiving (so almost a complete season).

    I had researched pellet stoves several time over the past couple of years. I never bought as the cost justification wasn't there. My first propane fill last fall helped me make the plunge. I calculate ROI around 4 years based on 07 propane and pellet prices (purchased during the season).

    Added to this calculation I considered the potential for political unrest, supply disruptions, info. from EIA about propane inventories. I thought "We are one catastrophe (man made or natural) away from OUTRAGEOUS prices for petrol products".

    With the US dollar in the tank, banks running out of money, gov. bailouts, and a bleak 2-5 year financial future, I consider my stove a stable investment. This year I was able to buy my entire season's supply at an "early bird special" for less than $200/ton delivered. At the current price of propane my ROI is closer to 3 years (since I already have my fuel, one more year remaining).

    If the purchase of the stove was something you didn't budget (more of a reactive decision) and you need that money for food, then I'd sell it. I purchased mine with money from a couple of "extra income" positions I hold. This money is usually spent on luxury items.
  12. Souzafone

    Souzafone Feeling the Heat

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    What will you do next year, or even later? We bought ours 4 years ago and never looked back. In the last 3 years we haven't used 1/4 tank of HHO, heating only the bedrooms when the doors are closed at night on the coldest nights, in a 1200 sq. ft. house. Comparing my energy costs for those 4 years with what I would have paid for oil, I feel like a genius. If you're physcally able to store and handle 40lb. bags of pellets, and have a little mechanical skill and some common sense regarding maintenance, you may be shooting yourself in the foot by selling the stove. If your having second thoughts for any reason, keep in mind you may not be able to do this in the future. Just as sure as HHO and other energy prices will increase, so too will the price of stoves and pellets long term. Good luck whatever you decide.
  13. BadDad320

    BadDad320 Feeling the Heat

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    I would keep the pellet stove. Two heating systems give you options.
  14. dpapagolos

    dpapagolos New Member

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    Thank you everyone for oyur input and insight. I eally want the stove and you all bring up great points of all the reasons I bought it in the first place. I WILL keep it now I am excited again to BURN thank you
    Dan
  15. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    The way I put it having a pellet stove is like a hedge against such price hikes on oil in the future.
  16. Gumbo

    Gumbo New Member

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    I like the idea of having something at the end of the heating season besides a bill. Keep the stove. You can always sell in the spring.
  17. oliver5528

    oliver5528 New Member

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    I f you want to you want to give more money to the rich bastards in the oil industry that's your choice!!!!!!!!!! I'd go pellet.
  18. yoscratch

    yoscratch New Member

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    Loc:
    western New York
    A Pellet stove is also more carbon neutral.

    I bought a pellet stove because I could burn pellets and corn (bought in '05 when corn was cheap). I started with both in 05-06. I burned a little corn in 06-07 but it is much more of a cleaning hassle so just went to pellets. My other furnace burns propane. when I hear people bitching about $800 per month heating bill I also hear the cash register ringing up some ROI to me!

    I also own a pellet mill but it isn't set up to make wood pellets. dang. (I make composted chicken manure pellets for fertilizer - yes, they would probably burn but are 35% ash so not even thinking of trying it.)
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to disagree with that statement. There is PLENTY of doubt that oil and other fuels will go up. In fact, here we are in the middle of hurricane season and on the cusp of heating season and all the pressure is down.

    Fear is a powerful motivator - if you know the price is going up, you can make a LOT of money by buying futures and oil stocks.

    The only accurate statement we can make is that the price of all fuels will constantly vary. We might see $3.00 heating oil this season.
    $3.30 in Portland Me right now for cash.

    If economics was as easy as "up in winter" and "down in summer", we could do away with the need for business schools, trading markets and much other fluff. Fuel oil is only a TINY part of the oil/gas mix. Many factors are in play - and many of the same factors affect the cost of pellet stoves, pellets, pellet service and parts, etc.

    $4K is a lot to spend on an insurance policy, but can be worthwhile for those who truly intend to buy pellets at the right (low) price and use them regularly. But it is a commitment (work) to use a pellet stove.....or wood stove. I usually suggest that people examine their life style and see if a stove fits in with it....if you like fire and fussing around, you might enjoy the stove. If you want the easiest way to heat and enjoy other hobbies, you might find it a pain.
  20. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Don't fight with your wife.
    Life's too short.

    (unless you both actually enjoy it)
  21. control1

    control1 Member

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    If you sell the stove you will have to buy oil say you use 900 gals say $3 per gal thats $2700.00.So keep the stove because the 2 grand will be gone to big oil by next march.
  22. alexei27

    alexei27 New Member

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    eastern LI
    By using pellets you reduce your use of oil (and produce less pollutants and you protect yourself from unanticipated spikes (who is to say there won't be a huge ice storm in Dec that paralyzes the transport of oil to parts of the US). Besides...oil needs to drop to something like $2.25 a gallon for it to be less expensive than pellets (at $250 a ton). That's probably not going to happen.
  23. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

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    Western Maine
    I agree!!

    Remember, this is a long-term commitment!!
    ROI could be 2-4 years depending on prices of oil vs pellets.
    When it's -20 and the wind is blowing, I will enjoy the constant heat coming out of the stove.
    I will be warmer than I would be sitting in front of the hot water baseboard!!

    I am hoping that after this huge demand for stoves subsides, that pellet supply/price will settle out.
    Still by today's prices, pellets are cheaper. Oil here is $3.75/gal and pellets at Wal-Mart for ex are $250/ton.
    Les Otten's new company will deliver pellets to my house (bulk) for $250/ton.

    For us, it was the price that convinced us to go with an alternative.

    Hope all of these replies help!
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