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Pellet stoves: temporary?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MCPO, Oct 28, 2008.

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  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    As of one year ago, Harman went out of business because as the quote from Dane Harman went "I have 20,000 stoves in the warehouse and not one good reason for anyone to buy one".

    The business was 90% dead as of one year ago.

    Yes, there have always been some regions where a few pellet stoves sold.....a very few! But NOTHING like what we have seen lately. The story of the pellet curve can be summed up like this:

    1. First pellet stoves - early 90's, lots of wood burners bought them.....but dealers and customer soured on them because of mechanical breakdowns and other reasons. Pellet stoves were on the back burner from 1996 to about 2005

    2. Katrina hit and the oil prices spiked. Pellet stoves went nuts - Harman, who had been one of the few companies that continually built and did a lot of pellet stove R&D;, sold LOTS of them and geared up big.

    3. 2007 - The economy starts tanking, building and remodeling slows down, oil comes down a bit and pellet stoves stop selling.

    4. March, 2008 - the current crisis begins......

    I'm giving that history for a little perspective. There is no way you can say that the Pellet industry was on an even keel or growth curve from the beginning until now - in fact, it was the other way around.

    Again, there are regional differences........but the fact remains that most of the new buyers were a run on the bank. Whether or not that run continues is impossible to say since none of us have a crystal ball.

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  2. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Only prob with that place that has them that cheap is the waiting list. Because of that I only have 2tons laid up....but that will last until another shipment comes in.

    Most places are going for 225.00ton.
  3. smaxell1

    smaxell1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    People that jump out of alternative heating sources because oil has dropped so low now are CRAZY!! This really is NOT going to last. I give it until the end of December, middle of January depending on who gets elected. And it probably will spike again DESPITE who gets elected. Stay the course, and pellets will level out. The run on pellets will level out a lot more when people start getting what they ordered. The market will come down again, unless we see a severe stockpiling run again. But that is all going to depend on the price of oil/etc. If you have your supply laid in for the winter, wait for lower prices later... I think we will see them.
  4. FiredUp

    FiredUp New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    central mass
    So maybe $2.99 a gallon is less expensive than oil was a month ago, but calling it "cheap" is a stretch. Last year we went through about a thousand gallons keeping the heat at about 66 degrees. That'd be $3K at the current price.That just about covers the cost of my brand new (installed yesterday) Harman p68. This morning my house (just about 2,000 sq. ft.) is at a comfy 70 degrees throughout (75 closer to the stove). And as for the cost of pellets NEVER coming down? Weren't we just saying that about oil??
  5. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    857
    Loc:
    Missouri
    which is why I have not bought one yet.
    I have been thinking about buying one just for the days the wood stove needs a little help or I will be out of town for a day etc.
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    948
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921

    Exactly, The antidote for getting our drawers dropped again is versatility. Keep the stove and at least use it as a space heater to take the load off the oil stove. Trust me you will see a considerable savings just using it that way and closing the doors of the unused rooms. It will work out for you in the end. As the price of oil goes down and everything catches up I am betting the price of pellets will go down at least somewhat. The big consideration with pellets is WHEN and WHERE. You are new to the game so get to know the rules, buy off season and cheap. Places like Lowes and Tractor supply get a steady stream of folks buying at rip off prices all year long and they don't bother to look around. Look around this winter and see where everyone is getting theirs locally. The big thing is buying early. You should buy next years pellets the Spring or early Summer before. April seems to be the best time and by August the opportunity is pretty well missed. You have to just bite the bullet even if you think you can't afford it and just do it. It helps a lot if you have or have access to a pickup truck and can haul them yourself. I got mine in early August (late) for 193 / ton when everyone around here was relishing 235 but I called around, waited and then jumped the day they came in. Thats how you save money with pellets.
    In the end it is nice to have the option of pellets or oil. By next summer I intend to add the wood / coal option to top it off. That way I can just do what I desire, can afford best, or just do as I please. Its all about the options. Probably the worst thing you can do right now is sell the stove. That ranks right up there with a guy I know who sold all his stock and mutual funds after the recent crash. Best to just kick back and wait. You will appreciate that stove down the road, count on it. I bet the oil boys are already working hard on dropping our drawer after the election.
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