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Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by itworks, Nov 7, 2008.
Pellet prices should be a matter of supply and demand, I think.
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I paid $1050.00 for my used St. Croix and another $140.00 for the vent kit. I installed the stove myself.
I put the stove in the coldest room in the house, my kitchen, and it heats every room. Instead of a $350.00 per month heating bill in a 65 degree house I have a $100.00 heating bill in a 75 degree house...
I saved over $600.00 last year over my '06 gas bill.
My pellets come from North America... no oil shieks got rich heating my home.
I like the look of the fire...
Hey, I only paid $500 for my P38 used and it included almost a ton of pellets but how many deals like this is anyone going to run across in their life?
The fact is a new Harman P38 cost $2100+ and thats their low end model.
5k stove? I suppose there are plenty of people out there that need to drive an Audi (a Harman type) instead of a Ford (a Breckwell or Englander type). At the end of the day, you'll still get to the same place with either, it all depends on how you want to do it.
I have a total of 3500 invested in my 2 stoves, including installation costs. Both were purchased brand new in the crate.
Well, I could have easily cancelled my pellet stove and hadn't even orderde pellets yet when the price of oil was quickly declining. I made the concious decision to just go with it. Oil prices will not stay low for ever. When the price does drop, the middle east also drops production to try to curb the decrease. Hell, if it does drop that far in price that is fine with me, my pellet stove will be quickly paid for in savings on gasoline alone.
I paid 2600 total for my stove and install, its better for the environment, I like the way hot air blows out of it and the next time time oil goes through the roof I am good to go, oh and it looks nice in my living room. Also, Regardless of the price of oil I am considering adding a 40 gallon electric hot water heater.
I like the looks of that Napoleon!
Everyone has different reasons. Last year I was rehabbing an old farmhouse in Philadelphia to move into. The oil furnace was 100 years old, an old coal-fired furnace converted to oil! Also, its flue ran right through my first floor fireplace (or "former fireplace"!). I had to update my heating system, and I wanted some kind of fireplace. I decided I would purchase either a new gas or oil boiler, with a direct vent outside, and try to make the fireplace useful, either as an open fireplace, or with a gas or wood insert. And in that process I learned about pellet stoves. I decided that a woodburning insert would be a nice complement to the heating system, but I really liked the idea of a 24/7 pellet stove. I used to burn coal up in northeastern PA. So, I was committed to spending some money on that fireplace space anyway. I decided to buy a new oil furnace, rather than gas -- because of my hatred for the corrupt local gas utility. That could prove to be the wrong choice there... And I decided on the pellet stove because I loved the idea of a 24/7 type of hearth, and the idea of burning solid fuel instead of natural gas, which always seems like a "fake" fire to me. I love what i've got. The pellet stove is the only thing we are using right now. It doesn't heat the 3rd floor and not even the 2nd floor all that well. But you know what? We found out we didn't need to heat all that space all the time. Instead of burning a 75,000 BTU furnace, I'm burning a 38,000 BTU space heater (my stove) -- and burning that at 1/2 strength at best. We're learning to live in a smaller space and I'm convinced that is a real trend these days -- economical space heating over the luxury of central heat! sorry for rambling...
Why did I switch?
I'm sick of the war and I'm sick of being dependent on someone who would just as soon see me go broke buying their fuel.
I like the idea of my money going back into the local economy. I like the smell of wood, I like the fact that I can find deals on pellets and if I buy in the early summer. I like feeling like I'm part of the solution and not the problem. I like the fact that burning pellets is cheaper than oil (which is the only other choice where I live) I could go on but you get the idea.
Originally, it was a $4.79 / gal HHO prebuy problem for me. Would have cost me over $4K to keep my cape heated (70' waking hours - though it never felt that way, 58' away/asleep) for the 2008-2009 season back when my local oil stealer was offering a prebuy plan. Now that the XXV is finally installed & running full time, I'm no way going back to oil as my primary "heat". It's 74' in here, super comfortable, and watching the flame flicker is better than anything I can find on TV. And when the TV is off (saving money) and I'm downing my Miller Lite(s) staring at the flame while my wife is bitxhing about her day, she actually thinks I'm listening to her. The old oil furnace could never have done this for me... Thank you XXV
I think the definition of cheap oil is rising faster than the price of oil. Every time there has been a dip in price in recent years everyone thinks it's so cheap. One of the primary reasons for the recent drop in oil is the drop in demand. I believe seeking alternatives will pay off in the long run for all of us. As fast as oil came down it could go back up. I for one have no regrets.
Thanks, thats a stock photo though, here it is in real life.
That reminds me, I have been meaning to post my install pics.
Well, when we decided to get a pellet stove oil was $4.85/gal not $2.50.
We had 2 cash deliveries this past Summer of 100 gal.
1st delivery was $4.53/gal....2nd was $3.55/gal. AVG was $4.00/gal
We had no idea the price was going to drop to last year's prices.
If we had known maybe we would have stayed with oil.
I look at it this way as do many others:
1) The investment is for the long haul not just for the 2008-2009 heating season.
2) We are putting money into local businesses.
3) I have been(So far) and will be warmer than I was pumping hot water thru pipes!!
4) I will be shocked if oil prices stay at $2.50/gal the rest of the heating season. OPEC will have their say!!
Oil here is $2.29 a gallon and spent $235 a pallet this past spring. Hmmmmmm
That is why I have a woodstove. I am not bashing pellet stoves, and I almost bought one, but I have two friends that have tree companies, so I can get wood for free from two differnt tree companies, or I can go get my own. For now, I will burn wood, and I am going to fill my 500 gallon oil tank when it is about at the bottom price. Will use the oil when I am away. When I get older or loose my wood sources, I may go with pellets, and then I will have to purchase them when they are at the lowest prices.
anyone who thinks that oil is down to stay is dreaming. the weakened economy is driving the price back to where it should have been to start with ,but it can very easily jump again. if you look at the overall increase (on average) of heating oil over the last several years , and bounce those numbers off the average price of pellets over the same time span ,pellets will have maintained a much lower average rate of increase as well as a more stable annual price average.
buying pellets offseason usually results in a lower overall price and generally allows for a lower cost for the heating season providing the purchaser has the facility to store the fuel. in season pricing ALWAYS jumps especially in "big" years for pellet stove sales such as this year. 04/05 was very similar due to an oil hike from the dreaded "katrina effect" (which was actually the real start to the current recession , diferent rant so i'll leave it at that) but pellet costs jumped due to short supply. if you think back though oil jumped pretty high as well and didnt really make the recovery that pellet fuel did. what it did do though was lower confidence in fuel availability for the next season or two. this season the rebound in pellet stove sales is beyond anything ive seen in my 15 years in the industry. we at ESW have produced to date well over 28K pellet stoves which is more than any previous years total production (wood pellet gas coal corn combined) im sure other manufacturers have been having a record year as well.
now think about the fuel, its not somthing that stores in bulk easily at the factory level. most pellet plants do not have that huge warehouse to store a thousand tons of fuel in. even when warehoused pellets im sure seasoned pellet manufacturers would agree can get a bit "stale" and tend to clinker a bit more when they have some age to them. they still burn and heat but just have that slight "not quite right" burn. also if a manufacturer does run way ahead and then the market falls out from under them they are stuck with tons of product they must store and also pay taxes on them.
usually the pellet makers (to their credit IMHO) catch up with demand and folks arent left dead in the water for the whole season. personally i encourage folks who can buy early to do so, this not only ensures they will have fuel , but also usually gets a better price for them and provides cash flow to the manufacturer in a time when they may not have as much capital to spend paying workers to work more hours to build stock for that coming season.
i myself changed over from wood to pellet in 04 and never looked back. i did so out of necessity. i travel more now so im not home to tend to the woodstove on occasion (and my wife couldnt build a fire in a woodstove with a gallon of napalm and a gun to her head) so she would have had to turn on the electric heat. the pellet stove changed that (she can push a button with the best of em) but i must admit , i do miss the "craft" of building a good fire in a woodstove.
The price of pellets HAS to balance itself. The free market dictates that. It will either be high because of demand is greater than supply, or lower for the opposite reason. I didn't say that pellets were going to be dirt cheap.
Side note, I did have a friend say that he found a location that has Athens pellets by the ton for $215, in stock now btw. Keeping that one under my hat for a couple of days though.
Syd, even at those prices, the pellets are still cheaper to burn per/million BTU's. If the oil gets down to BELOW $2.00/gal, then it would be cheaper......but it IS tempting.
I do realize the pellets are still cheaper, but not by much and the heat it gives off is much more enjoyable.
Well, I must be dreaming that oil has gone up by only about 3% at most each year for the last 30 years.
In fact, considering today's price it has probably not increased at all......(when the deflation of money value is considered).
There are lots of reasons to burn pellets, but the price comparison with oil under $2.50 is not one of them.
I have pointed out before - that the largest selling space heaters in the world are - electric heaters. Yes, the units with the highest energy costs! So I would ask "why would anyone?" buy one of those?
Well, I own 3 of them, so it's hard for me to ask!
I don't know a lot, but I think the world will be different over the next 25 years than the past 25, and boy will I be pleasantly surprised if the price of oil only rises another 3 percent per year.
I bought a pellet boiler after prebuying my oil at 2.17/gal last year. I also need to replace my funace at some point but it still works so I have a back up for my heat. I want to support American jobs all the way and since washington doesn't want american oil to grow, this way I support American jobs. I don't believe in Global warming, but do believe in saving money. the new crowd in charge of Washington, I think, will ruin our economy tring to reduce "green house gas". I expect oil prices to rise again through taxes if not through opec or demand. I also expect electricity to spike if the new president follows through on his promise to put cap and trade in place, which will drive up the price of everything. Hopefully I'm wrong, but it looks like the '70s all over agian to me.
New to forum
I bought my Pellet stove to counter price of Propane and to set temp above 68 degree's as I have to with Propane. Nov to March is our cold season and so far we have not fired the Propane furnace. Jan will be the test but @ $2.83 a gallon I am looking at a $3000.00 bill for propane. I bought 2 ton pellets this summer at a very low price. Stove should pay for its self in 2 years if not sooner.
Stove is running and its 71 degrees in side 30 degrees outside.
I really love reading all the patriotic stories as to why some folks are into burning pellets , corn, cordwood, etc. but lets be honest now, oil wasn`t all that bad when it was really cheap , huh?
A little background: I recently got my 2nd Quadra, a used Castile (800$) + vent tubes 230$ ... so not a bad up-front investment. Fuel cost here in michigan is 200-225$/ton. Propane is 2.25$/gal and is trending slowly down, but we will see.
Now a heat Calculator would show:
Oil- 22.32$ per million Btu at 2.50$/gal
Propane- 27.50$ per million Btu at 2.25$/gal
Pellet 14.60$ per million Btu at 200$/ton (Natural gas is 20 cents cheaper at local prices, but not an option)
So Pellets at 200$/ton are 30-34% cheaper than oil, and 40-47% cheaper than propane ... so margins are getting closure and in depends on fuell prices and how efficent your equipment is rated.
The issue of climate change or better way of thinking about burning prehistoric carbon sequestered in the ground and putting it into the air not causing global warming is crazy. So burming wood or wood pellets is = double + for the enviroment
Why, why not!
Actually, I hate using oil, I have forced hot water and absolutely hate it, maybe if I had forced hot air I would feel differently but I was never happy with the way FHW heats. I also hate the feeling of being backed against the wall with no choice but to pay the oil man. So regardless of price, being green or keeping my money in the local economy it is nice to have choices.