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Pellets ($296) vs. Oil ($2.959)

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Wood Nugget, Oct 7, 2008.

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  1. Wood Nugget

    Wood Nugget Member

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    So. ME
    Who would have known this would be the case. If you go by the moderators theory of price per ton of pellets = price per gallon of oil, then here in Southern Maine we are just about equal. My stove hasn't arrived yet, so I filled the tank 3 weeks ago thinking oil couldn't possible go any lower. Never was much of a gamblin' man. Next year I am going to buy pellets much earlier in hopes of getting them around $235 a ton. I haven't paid $2.35 for oil since my first delivery when I moved in 3 years ago. Hopefully increased production and more manufactures will lower prices so I won't have to drive to PA. to get pellets.

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  2. thoude3

    thoude3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
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    Maine
    I suggest not only buying early, but also trying to buy together. I'm getting mine for 219 a ton because we bought a bunch. As many others will tell you, it's not just about saving money. It's about keeping money locally and using a renewable resource. If we don't change our ways, we'll never get off oil. It's the same old game. Oil spikes and everyone rushes to get off it. When it goes down, people just hop on the oil band wagon. Face it, it's just easier to turn the thermostat. The problem is, in the long run, we're just hurting ourselves. I'm glad to see you're going to stick with pellets. I've made the commitment to do the same.
  3. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    893
    I have a suggestion: the price for fuel of all kinds goes up down and sideways. It is shortsighted to select one fuel over another simply because its current price is more advantageous than another. Instead, select your heating system using long-term goals. In the case of pellets, advantages such as they are greenhouse neutral, renewable and lessen dependence on foreign oil merit strong consideration.
  4. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
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    407
    Loc:
    Southern, Maine
    The drop in oil prices is surprising, and i'd say very few people saw this coming. Personally it doesn't give me any kind of "warm fuzzy" and I would not be the least surprised if prices went back over 4 per gallon in a matter of weeks. The price volatility of oil has made it a much less attractive option for me, so I feel really good about having two stoves.
    IMO I think the "floor" on pellets in my area is right around 250 a ton going forward. The days of suppliers getting raw materials for cheap or free are over, and I think the demand is going to be there at the 250 price point (unless oil goes down to 2.20 or so).

    Those of you who bought stoves this year should still feel good about it. At the very least you have diversified. At 3.00 per gallon for oil you may have extended your ROI point, but it is hard to put a value on diversification, and the piece of mind that you may be able to "pass" on an oil fill up if prices are sitting at 4.50 per gallon in March.
  5. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I myself am glad I purchased my stove for diversification. Since I have bought it I have used it soley for my heat and the furnace only for hot water. However...if oil drops enough to match pellets or go below pellets...its a no brainer for my wallet considering the work involved. When I bought the stove I bought it with the mindset to burn whichever is cheaper.
    If oil prices continue their slide....cheaper pellet prices are inevitable.
    But...I agree with Mk.....I dont see them staying low through the heating season, we all saw how fast they rose in the past. $4.50 a gal. by peak season(Jan) is still my prediction.
  6. Turbozcs2003

    Turbozcs2003 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
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    80
    Loc:
    southernMaine

    MPH

    You hit the nail on the head. Burn whatever is lower cost. I have 5 ton of pellets and if my stove ever arrives I will be in good shape. Personally I hope oil goes lower and ditto for gas. maybe we might even get some drilling going to help in the near term.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    12,276
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I understand that possible advantage, but the sad fact is that the demand for pellet stoves was about ZERO just two years ago - in fact, just ONE year ago. So either the entire country just got wise to "green", or the price of oil is what caused the run on stoves and fuel. I would bet my money on the 2nd.

    My guess is that about 1/4 of current pellet stove owners are "hard core"...many of them being here :)

    The other 3/4 are fickle and will burn less or no pellets when the other fuels are relatively cheap.

    It is interesting that pellets sell for less than $200 in many areas of the country, and everyone is still making money. Does sawdust really cost that much more in New England than Ohio or PA?

    I certainly don't know.
  8. Chinkowski

    Chinkowski Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
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    Loc:
    Binghamton, NY
    i put in a pellet stove to open up some options. when i built my house i wasnt thinking propane was that expensive to use exclusively so i backed myself into a corner. the pellet stove is a little bit of work , but much more enjoyable than just turning up the t'stat. my family has always burned wood but i didnt want to go that route. pellets was the answer for me. buying them in the spring will just increase my savings. i'm just glad i have a choice and my house has never been more comfortable. there is something pretty darn cool about sitting next to a fire with your favorite beverage and just relaxing watching the fire burn. not quite the same watching the furnace/boiler run.
  9. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Southern NH
    Just like in the stock market, it's best to be diversified. I have a mix of energy sources in my house, electric for hot water, oil for heat as well as a new pellet stove, gas for cooking. The down turn may be here now, but when things get better oil will go up again. Also this sudden massive move to pellet stoves created competition, prices might get even lower this year for both oil and pellets. If you can, I say hold off buying any thing for now and wait to see how much oil has been effected by pellets this year. I say with in the next month or so, oil companies will be grumbling how they can't off load their oil.
  10. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    NH
    There is more than just one reason That I installed Pellet stoves this Year. Yes cost was certainly one reason. But I have always supplemented with wood also. Last year I burned 11 cord, and I just dont always have the time to do that amount of wood every year.
    It is also much cleaner to store, no bugs or mice nests in the storage , certainly much cleaner as far as dust, and smoke in the house.
    The main reason I burn wood and pellets is because I like a warm house. We can go thru 250 gallons in about 2 weeks in my home and thats always keping the thermostat at a lower temp than I want it. I want my home warm and I want to be able to keep a window cracked in my bedroom for fresh air for sleeping.
    These stoves really give me a feeling of warm comfortable heat unlike what I get from the hot water baseboard. I am almost oil free now in my home and will be when I get the new tankless waterheater installed in a couple of weeks..
  11. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Southern NH
    Oy! You need some solar in that mix!
  12. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

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    Hartland,Me.
    in my opinion, this drop in oil price is a fluke...it is going to go down to suck people in , and when it gets REALLY cold, the prices are going to shoot rightback up. currently, i have 3/4 a tank of oil and 4 ton of pellets...my goal is to end the heating season with 3/4 a tank of oil and another 4 ton on its way. my intention is to only give the middle east as much of my money as it takes to get to work....the rest will go to support my own country and industry.
  13. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck New Member

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    Loc:
    NH
    I built this home 6 years ago and today I would do some addl things. When I build my next home it will have a combo solar, wind, pellet/wood furnace, and some different appliances. I would love to get off the grid.
  14. control1

    control1 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
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    Loc:
    bucks co pa
    Personally I burn 1 bag a day thats about $6 per day I do not use any oil anymore.When I burnt oil I was getting a fill every 45 days so 275 gals divided by 45 is 6 gals per day. Ok with the stove I am not heating the whole house but at 6 gals per day oil would have to go to $1 a gal before I would start burning oil again. This will never happen so I will keep burning pellets and will not have to worry about middle east crisises or wall street speculators so I feel alot more independent of the forces surrounding me.
  15. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Well then sounds that you have a big house, what do you use for heating the house other than pellets? Forced hot air or hot water?
  16. control1

    control1 Member

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    Loc:
    bucks co pa
    I have a split level stove is down in the family room 3 steps up to lr kitchen and dinning room and bedrooms are over fam room.I put a fan on the floor in the liv room blowing down cold air into the family room.I converted to elec water heater I may use oil filled elec rad to even out temps upstairs.
  17. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck New Member

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    Yes, and when ythe kids are gone we will build again 1/3 the current size. The main system is hot water. After the new tankless system is installed, I hope we dont have to turn the furnace on all winter..
  18. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Southern NH
    Hmmmmmm Should look into a pellet or wood boiler.
  19. jbroich

    jbroich New Member

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    NE Ohio
    Here's to mit and richg! Selecting one's energy source is a always a political act whether people admit or not.
  20. Ossy

    Ossy New Member

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    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Well, the pellet stove is the only heat source for my downstairs...upstairs is hot water base board via oil furnace...the bright side to this is that wood pellet prices should drop...CONSIDERABLY!!!...so those people who were hoarding the pellets...well lets just say I hope they learned a valuable lesson...

    Ossy
  21. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Southern Maine
    I dont think "people" are hoarding nearly as much as the big dealers are...ie: HD, Lowes and other dealers....holding out for pricing purposes. Nearly all I talk to at work etc and alot here....have only bought their winter supply...maybe a ton more but certainly not 2-3 yrs supply....Maybe theres some but I havent seen hoards of them doing it.
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