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Why would anyone?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by itworks, Nov 7, 2008.

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  1. itworks

    itworks New Member

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    Just don't get it. Why would anyone today ( at least here in New England) buy a new pellet stove, vent pipes, and pay for installation and incur a total bill of $3-5 thousand with pellets selling for $300-$400 a ton when HHO is selling for about $2.50 a gallon and Nat gas is even cheaper. I guess if you heat with electricity going the pellet route would be a bit cheaper and make sense to me, but other than that I just don't get it. I realize that just a few months ago HHO was selling at over $4 a gallon, and many of the talking heads were predicting it would go to $5.00, or higher, a gallon, and pellets were selling at $175-$225 a ton but for a number of understandable & not understandable reasons that's not reality today. The price of fossil fuels plummeted while the price of pellets and stoves (when you can get them) increased. It appears from reading this forum that there are still people willing to drive long distances, and pay unreasonable prices to heat their homes with pellets. I purchased my stove in 2004, and purchased this year's supply of pellets in April at $225 a ton delivered, and just arranged to have 200 gallons of HHO delivered. It's nice to have the option of choosing how to heat your home, but I think now is not the time to buy into this option.

    I don't mean to offend anyone, I'm truly glad I made my investment in a stove in 2004, and don't regret it.
    If the answer is you want to reduce the carbon footprint, or you would prefer not to send your $$$'s overseas I applaud you.

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  2. firewarrior820

    firewarrior820 Feeling the Heat

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    you answered your own question.
  3. escobarmj

    escobarmj Member

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    I agree that now is not the time to buy a pellet stove or pellet fuel if your goal is to save money in the short term over HHO. If saving money is the main driver, then I would recommend waiting. Stove and pellet prices will drop as demand plumments.
  4. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    IMHO, I think these cheaper oil prices are only temporary. Fill er up when prices bottom out. I have heard that prices will start to increase again in late Dec. early Jan. as specualtors start to do their dirty work again.
  5. itworks

    itworks New Member

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    I appreciate your thoughts about my question. I understand that the weak economy is one of the major reasons why the price of oil has fallen recently. Some analysts are even predicting crude to fall to $30 a barrel, but I'm of the opinion because the price of oil is controlled by a relatively small cartel anything can happen.I just don't understand why people are currently paying such inflated prices for stoves and pellets.
  6. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    We purchased our pellet stove in late May of this year and ordered our pellets at the same time so pricing wasn't too bad. But at that time, these are the reasons we made the purchase:

    - Cost - Having kept a close watch on the trend of increasing fuel oil prices over the past few years, it was time to seriously look at an alternative and yes - cheaper way to heat our home. Our choice was pellets, but serious consideration was given to solar, wind and even hydro-electric.

    - Availability - I also realize that another important fact is the availability of fuel oil to the United States is not a guarantee. There are more than a few individuals and organizations that can have a serious effect on crude oil supplies in many, many ways.

    - Dependency - I'm tired of our dependency on foreign oil, especially to several nations who really do not like us much at all. Rather than remain a part of the problem, we are now an active part of one solution - to help reduce the dependency.

    - Pollution - There is much debate about global warming. Some believe it, some do not. But pollution of any kind is not productive for the future and yes, we also want to do our part to help clean up our part of the planet and reduce our carbon footprint.

    Even today with fuel prices dropping to such lows, there is still no way to predict what tomorrow will bring. We have a little more peace of mind then we did several months ago.

    Steve
  7. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    Most of us bought our pellets and stoves in spring or summer during the peak of oil prices not knowing that oil would go to the low prices that it has.
  8. Mr Whitfield

    Mr Whitfield Feeling the Heat

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    I find it cheaper to heat my home 24/7 with pellets than natural gas 24 /7. I like the look of a fire in my fireplace.
  9. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    There is nothing quite like the penetrating heat of wood or pellets.
  10. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    I just like to burn myself....
  11. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    Isn't that sadistic. Blisters can turn to infection pretty quickly.
  12. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

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    I believe we'll need to hit a full-scale global depression to reach $30/barrel oil. I also believe that $2.50/gal for HHO is too high -- we think it's "cheap" because we're comparing it to $4+ earlier this summer...but when you compare it to a year or two ago, we were whining then about the shocking nature of $2.50/gal. Just because it's not $4 doesn't mean it's cheap at $2.50.

    I don't know I'd buy a Harman stove (or $300+/ton pellets) right now, but a $1000 Englander and $200 pellets would be a no-brainer. Having options is something I like. (I also like keeping the lived in rooms warm vs. the thermostat at 65 with oil.)
  13. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Exactly what I try to tell people....well said Digger.
  14. Tailrace

    Tailrace New Member

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    Exactly my thought...plus the fact that I'm NOT buying fuel oil.....burn baby burn :)
  15. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Wow! And all this time I thought the price of oil was controlled by George Bush.
  16. smaxell1

    smaxell1 New Member

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    And you think oil is going to stay low? If I had not changed to pellets, I would have been locked into a contract for heating oil at almost $4 a gallon. On my BUDGET plan, that spreads my payments for oil over 12 months - I just pay a consistent amount year round instead of paying for oil over the winter - I would have been paying $400 per month! With the price of oil now, I would probably have overpaid and ended with a credit - but there was NO guarantee at that point. I HAD to lock in when my contract ended. I gambled, and still probably won. My ROI is a little further out than it was, but I will still have it. I also have a way to balance costs against any number of factors.

    With the now global economic crisis, crude may stay low for a while. That doesn't mean that the high prices were an anomaly or will not happen again - and STAY there. Pellet prices will balance themselves out. Right now, there is a shortage (and higher price) because of unexpected high demand. It really is a simple supply and demand equation. We will need to reach a saturation point of people owning pellet stoves, which we may well have now, and the supply and price of pellets will have to balance with oil. It really is simple economics. Unfortunately, we will probably get to a point where neither is significantly cheaper than the other.
  17. orangecrushcj7

    orangecrushcj7 Feeling the Heat

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    Pellets may or may not be the cheaper alternative heat source this winter, but it will be in the years to come, once things get back on track. IMHO, you can't beat the feeling you get out of wood heat, as opposed to my baseboards. I also like to think that I am helping our domestic economy, with my stove, vent pipe, and fuel all being made in the USA. My stimulus check went straight back into the economy by paying for my Englander...
  18. MoeB

    MoeB New Member

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    I have totally kicked the oil habit in two places -- my five-room office and my house. Last summer I installed a Rinnai tankless water heater and a Rinnai wall furnace, the biggest one they make, in the office. The natural gas pipes were run to my home last summer for free. Just last weekend the very old oil furnace -- as big as a walk-in closet -- was taken out of my house basement in pieces, and a brand new Lennox NG condensing high-efficiency furnace was installed in its place. The hot water is piped over from the tankless water heater which serves both the house and office.

    The oil company I did business with for 23 years is coming to suck the last 100 gallons out of the oil tank, and they were nice enough to say they will pay me for the oil at the rate I paid for it last April when I got my last delivery. I've been heating with two pellet stoves, but the hot water came from the boiler (another very old unit) in the office and the leased oil-fired water water heater in the house.

    My September bill for NG for the office was $29.00. That was for heat and hot water. Granted, the furnace was only on at night in September. In October I ran the furnace day and night. Total for heat and hot water: $75.00.

    My pellet stove will continue to burn in the house because I like it and I've got seven tons of pellets in the garage, but on the very cold nights in January and February, it is a comfort to know I have the new Lennox all ready to go in the basement. On the two heating systems, I will save close to $500 in service plans alone.

    Having the choice between pellets and NG is reassuring. I will see which one is less expensive any given season and go with that. And for power outages, of course the generator is ready to go, as well as the Jotul stove in the fireplace which I'm converting from propane back to NG. It doesn't require electricity. Now I can begin to focus on the rest of what needs to be done around here. I have a few more old windows to replace and some more tightening up to do here and there.
  19. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    OK let me think on that. Sure, most of us feel the cost of oil is going to go back up but do you really think the price of pellets will balance themselves out ? You`re hoping, Right?
    I don`t think so.
    I do agree entirely with your last statement though.
  20. davevassar

    davevassar Member

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    I burn pellets because of the warmth that I get in my house. I have an open floorplan with cathedral ceilings, and oil doesn't cut it. With only oil, I butrn between 100-125 gallons of oil per month keeping my house around 70. With oil and my pellet stove, my house averages around 72-74 degrees.

    It's all about comfort for me and the family...
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Vastly more people than REALLY wanted or needed Pellet stoves bought them this year. It's called a feeding frenzy - or fear, etc.

    Sure, some people bought them to be green or because they like fire. But that must be a small percentage - because otherwise Pellet stoves would have sold BIG last year....when oil was $2.50. Money was more available then. But pellet stoves did not sell.

    Easy to reach a conclusion there.

    I have always cautioned folks to think about their long term goals......I told many to wait instead of putting in a 9 month back order. I burn a pellet stove myself, but at the same time cannot imagine folks borrowing 5K on their credit cards to purchase one in order to save money. It's a different thing if you like the other aspects and have the money. I could caution the same approach to most energy projects.....

    Many of our knowledgeable members also point out that a dollar spent on conservation (insulation, windows, etc.) usually has a better and easier payback than buying more of ANY fuel. Again, it always depends if one is spending borrowed money or "extra" money.

    Although I urge caution, I also have told folks who want a pellet stove - and have the money - to simply buy one! In that case, it is not much different than many customer purchases - entertainment, gadget fun, green - AND the added benefits of a "heating insurance policy" and potential savings.
  22. pinewoodburner

    pinewoodburner Feeling the Heat

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    Another question to ask yourself, what happens when the greed overtakes OPEC, they like the high oil prices? They decide to cut the tap and create a shortage to get the price of oil back up, creating a shortage in the US. If you are heating with oil and you need to refill, you may be out of luck. The price of oil will go back up, it is just a question of when will it go back up. If you have two different heating systems, you have a choice of which one is less expensive and which one to use.
  23. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Geez, didn`t we just experience that same greed here with the cost of pellets and stoves?
    And what happens when you can`t find the pellets to burn in your new $5K stove? Or when the cost of both oil and pellets are high?
    We are screwed one way or the other.
  24. MoeB

    MoeB New Member

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    I paid $2,100 for a brand new Harman Accentra a year and a half ago and $2,700 for the exact same stove three or four years ago. They paid for themselves or real close to with the last one I bought. I was an oil hog with the old equipment. If people are paying $5,000 for stoves, they're being gouged.
  25. muss

    muss Feeling the Heat

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    I got mine after walking in my neighbors house last winter. Loved the heat & the looks. Was going with a wood stove 1 way or another . Other than the pellets i have right now, i love the fact that the heat reaches upstairs whereas the oil heat wouldn't for some reason. I was on this site for almost 2 months before i bought . I love the heat as much as i love this site :p Muss
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