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Maine pellet producer news

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by akakii, Dec 18, 2008.

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  1. akakii

    akakii New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Portland, Maine
    Following my experience with the poor quality pellets I got from Athens, I wrote last week to the Maine Wood-to-Energy task force. In part I wrote that "I heat with pellets and I am a wholehearted supporter of the State's wood-to-energy efforts. The shift to burning pellet fuel, however, is going to be hampered by the poor quality pellets that are coming from one of the state's producers." (I didn't call them out by name. I assumed that the volume of consumer complaints had already grown to the point where it would be obvious.)

    Aside from voicing my frustration, I'm not entirely certain what it was that I hoped to achieve by writing other than to alert the group to a producer that was harming the reputation of the industry. I received an immediate response from the executive director of the Maine Pellet Fuels Association, a group made up of all of the area pellet producers. He asked me to hang tight since they had a meeting coming up this week. Last night I received a message from him:

    "Following up -- the firms manufacturing wood pellets in Maine met yesterday to discuss complaints such as you voiced. Attached is a formal statement which we hope you will find useful, and which you may want to discuss with the retailer from whom you purchased pellets.

    The manufacturers all agreed to produce and label product according to the standards recently set forth by the Pellet Fuel Institute, and to test accordingly.

    One firm, perhaps the one to whom you refer, had been manufacturing pellets using "waste wood" -- branches, bark, etc. While this is an optimum utilization of Maine's forest resources, it turns out to not produce the required product, and the firm has ceased use of such wood.

    We're learning as we go, and all firms have agreed to take back and exchange pellets which a consumer finds unsatisfactory. Thanks for your patience and support."



    The statement that was attached is as follows:

    "Maine’s pellet fuel manufacturers regret any customer dissatisfaction with purchased pellets, and thank customers for their support and patience while quality issues are resolved in our new and growing Maine woods fuel industry. Quality variations can arise due to procurement of wood supplies from different locations and forest components, such as species of trees. These variations are rapidly diminishing as wood procurement practices become more uniform and also as firms become more familiar with different pellet manufacturing equipment and processes.

    As manufacturers, we will readily exchange, with concurrence of the original retailer, any pellets which have resulted in any customer’s dissatisfaction and which the customer wishes to return."



    I see this as a very positive step in the right direction. It shows that the producers are self-policing and committed to improving the quality of the product. If one producer harms the reputation of the product, it hurts all of them, not to mention the harm to the consumer. This may be of little consolation to anyone that is stuck with lousy pellets and unable to find a replacement supply, but at least if the producers get their act together this will happen less in the future.

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  2. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    itll take free pellets for me to buy them again from maine, ill stick with newp next yr and for the foreseeable future...
  3. Glenn Angell

    Glenn Angell New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Scarborough, ME
    Should I call Athens or do I call the guy I bought them from? I went out and bought 5 bags of Penningtons and 5 bags of Fireside Ultras. I burned Penningtons first with good to excellent results, 1 bag lasted me between 18-24 hours. The temp coming out of the stove was approx. 170* F. Then I burned the Fireside Ultras. The temps were running around 175-178* F and lasted around the same time frame 18-24 hours, it's in the 20's outside. I finished off the Ultras yesterday and went back to the Athens pellets lat night. I filled the stove around 7:30 pm and woke up this morning to an almost empty stove, I just measured the heat output and it read 162*F. Im all for learing as we go but not on my dime. I will be returning these, I'll call Athens today.
  4. akakii

    akakii New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Portland, Maine
    MP, I returned mine to the dealer I bought them from - O'Hara. I know they've been taking back many tons, as has Paris Farmers Union. I think the first thing to do is call your supplier. If they balk I'll be happy to e-mail you the statement that the Maine Pellet Fuel Association put out about exchanging pellets - just PM me with your address.



  5. Saltair

    Saltair New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Eastern ME
    I agree this is good news. I have loudly spoken out about my bad experience with Athens, but am glad to see something is happening. I will let others test drive the product for awhile before I buy any Maine buit pellet again. Even the Corinth pellets I have burn poorly compared to others.
  6. doghouse

    doghouse Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    maine
    Since we are discussing Maine made pellets, have any of you or anyone else burned 'Northeast Pellets' form Ashland, ME?
  7. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    i have never seen then around here in lew/auburn. i would like to try em
  8. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    708
    Loc:
    Rumford, Maine
    akakii,
    Thanks for the info!!
    I will call my supplier tomorrow.
    I will PM you my email address.



  9. Saltair

    Saltair New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Eastern ME
    were can you get the ashland pellets? I would give them a shot. I have burned Athens, with all the associated problems and corinth which aren't much better, but would really like to use a Maine made pellet if I could find one that was good. I hope the news in this thread leads to a better product.
  10. doghouse

    doghouse Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    197
    Loc:
    maine
    Wish I could tell you. Mine were a 'friend of a friend' buy. PM me if you live in the county, might be able to help.
  11. gutterboy2ca

    gutterboy2ca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    Hartland ,New Brunswick,Canada
    Hi Guys, Glad to Report here after grabbing a couple bags of (NorthEast Pellets)(Ashland Maine) a week ago and being surprisingly Impressed with them, i went back to the Hardware store and grabbed one of the 10 pallets he had in stock.Price was very High, and i was Hesitant.$6.99/Bag Can. He explained its high because of the US/Can Dollar right now.This order he received was Refused by Walmart because the supplier refused to knock off 3% from price for a superstore Chain Buy,he said he could easily sell them to other retailers,so he brought them across the Border to Centerville,NB.
    They are Very White(clean)Looks like Pine, but a slight hint of Cat Pee(Fir). The Heat was my 2nd Highest Recorded so far from 8 or so Brands @ 340 Degree's F. My Big amazement was these are by Far the Cleanest Burning Pellets to date.After 4 Bags was Hardly worth cleaning the Glass on the window, as opposed to 2 to 3 bags Manditory clean with all others and Hardwood(Lignetics )Being the Dirtiest of any.

    As For the Athens, i don,t think they changed there Recipe any as i was in Woodstock,NB today and happened into the Hardware store to check on my LG-Granules Order,(no luck) but he had just receiuved a Truck Load of Athens.They wanted me to take these as opposed to my LG,s i'm waiting for, so i said i'll buy 2 bags and try them, just put them in 20 mins ago,they are very Dark, look like Hardwood,look exactly like Lignetics to Me.Will do a heat test later tonite and post tomorrow on my opinion on Athens

    So for #1 brand this year is EnergeX--Quebec --375 F
    #2 =Green Heat Pellets(Northeast Pellet Co)--Ashland-Maine --345 F
    #3 =LG-Granules --Quebec --360F
    #4 =Lignetics-Hardwood-- Nova Scotia -- 340 F
    #5 =Cozy-Comfy(Kent) --Tracy,NB --225 F
    #6 =Eastern Embers --(Shaw Brick) (Nova Scotia) --140 F
    #7 =Maine Woods Pellet Co(athens) Maine --283 F (surprised)
  12. schmeg

    schmeg Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I have 4 tons of them. I bought 3 tons in Sept, then 1 in Oct, (different batch). The Oct batch are too long for my stove, some are 2 1/4 inches long. and I have to break them up in a pail with a sledge hammer befor they go in the stove, they just don't feed well. my stove (a Glowboy 120 insert) likes shorter pellets. The 3 tons from the Sept batch feed much better, They seem to soot over the glass at the same rate as most other pellets I use. My stove isn't all that great, and requires more frequent cleaning anyway. They are a good pellet IMO, yes they are very light in color, and really clean in the bag, just try some in your stove first. I got mine through Maine Energy in Bangor. Not sure if they are still getting 'em. So far I've tried almost everything available in Bangor, and I like the Forest Prides (Ligs) and Firesides the best. They are both shorter than the Northeast.
  13. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    albert county, new brunswick
    How you got comfy cozy over eastern embers is a mystery to me-are you letting the stove cook for a couple hours before taking the temp? (obviously from the same spot) I get way higher temps on only the medium setting from the area near the heat exchanger in the front of the stove.
  14. gutterboy2ca

    gutterboy2ca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    Hartland ,New Brunswick,Canada
    I'd Turn on the Electric heat if (Eastern Embers) was my only Pellet choice, they were that Bad, Glad i only bought 5 bags of them from Home Hardware, as for those Cozy Comfy, they were Dirty, Low heat,very Irregular Lenths, some up to 3 inches, prob why the heat output was so low, non consistant feed rate.I personally don,t want to get stuck burning either of them again if i have a choice. I'll drive to Quebec myself with my Cube van and get EnergeX if given the choice..
  15. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Loc:
    N. Central Mass

    This should be good...especially if it is the first bag of Maine Woods you burn.
  16. gutterboy2ca

    gutterboy2ca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    Hartland ,New Brunswick,Canada
    Ok, she's been running on them for 4 hours straight on Medium, then 30 mins on High with Fan on high,same as rest.Topped out and Held steady Heat at 283 F, i see lotsa Ash,Dirty window,and looks like a large chunk of moltin Lava in the Burn pot,prob from Impurities i guess,won,t know till i empty the Pot.For the record,Decent heat,dirty as Hell,Over Priced right now,consistant lenths of 5/5 to 1 inch, less then 1% at 1.5 inches.If i could get them for $5/bag Can i'd prob buy a pallet.Not the worst,not the Best,Mid-of the line .
  17. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    144
    Loc:
    maine
    as a dealer for Maine Woods and have visited the mill recently. They have changed there production . I was sent home with numerous bags and burning them in my home and can see a HUGE difference in the pellets compared to the old batches. any questions feel free to pm me and we can chat\
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,128
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Please consider this a PM.

    Do you have any certified lab results for the product yet?
  19. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    ditto, i will only buy bags that have the pfi seal on it from now on. why i didnt in the first place is beyond me...
  20. Saltair

    Saltair New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Eastern ME
    I agree when they are good enough to get the PFI seal I would probably consider paying for a couple bags, but even then my Corinth pellets have the PFI syamp and they aren't much better than Maine Woods. In the mean time the only way a Maine Woods pellet is going in my stove is if it is free, and clearly a different product than the one I got ripped off for. I am pretty put out with all the Maine made pellet products at this point.
  21. mattbell

    mattbell Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    Loc:
    Northern Maine



    Up here in Northern Maine, we have many many brands of pellets to choose from but Northeast Pellets seem to have the best BTU’s with the lowest ash. Less than .5 of 1 % and the BTU’s are between 8600 and 8750. I believe they are a blend of hard and soft wood. Very light in color and clean, low dust. Why not buy local and support local businesses ?
    In our area, prices currently are ranging from 240/ton to 299/ton.
    For those of you who have asked about where to get Northeast Pellets in Central and Southern Maine, I know they sell down that way but not sure where. Call the mill and ask. Matt, the President and Audrey the Office Manager are really nice people and easy to talk to.
    call 207-435-6230 to find out where you can get them.
    I have burnt over 4 tons so far this year!
  22. gutterboy2ca

    gutterboy2ca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    Hartland ,New Brunswick,Canada
    Hey pelletpro, i agree the Northeast Pellets are a pretty darn good pellet, i'm across the border near Centerville,NB and have been buying some from Weibs Hardware, he told me the order was rejected by Walmart do to Price,the first pallet i bought was the Green Heat Pellets,from the Ashland Plant,they were very clean,burned great, only downfall was $7.00/Bag, when i got the order there were 4 bags of Northeast Pellets on top of the wrapped pallet,he told me was from same plant, just bagged for walmart ect.When i went back 3 weeks later to buy another pallet of Green Heat, they were gone and next shipment was ALL Northeast pellets,assuming they were still the same i bought another pallet.They were no wheres close to the first pallet, very dirty, lots and i mean lots of sawdust,was very dissapointed,Lesson learned, buy a bag in the yard, cut it open, examine it, if it meets your expectations, buy the other 49 bags, lol..
    I kept small sandwich Bag sized samples of all my pellet brands run thru this year, and there heat output marked on the bag, will make next years decission a bit easier....

    Attached Files:

  23. mattbell

    mattbell Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Thanks for the feedback gutterboy. I knew they had done some business with Walmart but we can all imagine how hard they must be to deal with. Big companies think they own you…
    But I really like the green bag!
    That is surprising though about the quality, I appreciate the info.. how are they burning, BTU’s and Ash? I can definitely see a significant difference in them. Do you have any ideas as to why?
  24. gutterboy2ca

    gutterboy2ca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    Hartland ,New Brunswick,Canada
    No, not really man, i assume same as everyone, they take there sawdust from diff suppliers,can,t really blame them there, but it would be nice for us the consumer to have some peice of mind,knowing quality control,the next pallet you buy will be as close to identical as the first pallet you buy,pretty hard to do that when they get there Raw Product from Various suppliers.As for Ash/Heat output, i'm still using the Digital therm for testing, the Green heat run 300F, Medium ash output, the Last batch Northeast, very Dirty,Heat down to 250F to 260F, Large Clumps of molten Ash in the Burn pot, comes out in a big clump when you empty it..
    Curious what are they going for in P.I/Caribou Area now, i was told yesterday at Mardens Houlton to go to Mars Hill to buy pellets for cheapest price in Maine, not sure, didn,t go
  25. mattbell

    mattbell Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Northern Maine


    I have seen them ranging from $240/ton to $285/ton US in the greater Presque Isle area. Im sure the exchange rate is part of why they are so much more ovethere? In PI check MPG or SW Collins. Mars Hill is Travis Kearney, kearney pallet and pellet i believe?
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