Newby pellet stove owner in SW New Hampshire with a few questions...

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.
Status
Not open for further replies.

jsflynn603

Member
Jun 11, 2011
11
SW New Hampshire
I have an old farmhouse in SW NH that I'll be spending the next winter in.

I have a Lopi something (model?) stove and want to buy pellets now because though the price of oil could fall (and thus the pellet prices might not rise) I think there is too much risk of the price of oil moving the other way. (Note: I'll leave my "reasons" at the end of this--it's wordy and I don't want to digress too much, those who are interested can go and look).

At any rate, I will not be at my farmhouse until Autumn and so, I'd like to buy 3 or 4 tons "blind," meaning--I can't get a bag and test one brand over another and I'd rather lock in the price now rather then wait till Autumn, I've read enough to know that could be problematic. I know that New England Pellets are made near me (I'm in between a triangle with the apexes at Keene, Claremont and Newport, NH). I've heard that NE Pellets were great, then were terrible....and today--I have no clue.

Can anyone from the SW NH area suggest what they would choose for brands in this area? I realize that pellets change, and I won't hold anyone to any suggestion. Keene, Claremont or Newport is good for the point of delivery origin, or I could pick up half a ton at a time.

Now a specific question. I have a standard fireplace with a 9x9 tiled opening, it's in good condition and about 180 years newer than the farmhouse. In the past I've simply used a wood stove and used an adapter from the stove output to a round stovepipe, adapted the end with an appropriate piece and exhausted the wood stove up the chimney. Its worked well for many years.

Can I simply exhaust the Lopi the same way?




Below are my thoughts on what I perceive is a fast "end run" by the Saudis vis a vis the price of heating oil (and gasoline) this upcoming season... Feel free to ignore:

You’re apt to hear shortly (or maybe you have heard recently) that the price of oil will drop because the (kindly and sensitive) Arabs via their oil minister called for an increase of oil quotas (production) at the recent Vienna conference--just to make sure that the world had enough. He was soundly rebuffed by the other oil producing countries—and so, in fine form he announced that if others would not, Saudi Arabia would just have to bite the bullet produce more. (I'm surprised he didn't say: "for the children.")

What nice guys those Saudi fellows are—to produce more oil so the price stabilizes or possibly even drops some. This is what you are apt to hear or maybe even have heard (I don't have TV or listen to radio so I really don't know.

Here is the rest of the story:

A week before the conference Saudi Aramco quietly announced (to refineries) a reduction in the discount pricing for it’s medium and heavy grades of crude. You see, oil is sold on its grade relative to a certain type of oil and it is discounted relative to that price. I’m not sure but Saudi medium and heavy oil grades may be "discounted" related to the benchmark: Brent Light Crude.

So this is what happened. The Saudis essentially increased the price of much of their oil, but they don’t want to look like the bad guys, so at the recent oil conference they asked for an increase in OPEC quotas. Rebuffed (which is what they expected to hear)—the nice Saudi oil minister (with hidden glee) agreed that the burden to produce more oil would just have to fall upon the Saudis. (without whispering that the price is now higher and thus they are going to make quite a lot more money) and thus help the world out.

What they pulled off was a public relations coup. They look like the “good guys,†but since the price of most of their crude to refiners just went up significantly (even though the benchmark Brent Crude did not) guess what—yup, the price of gasoline, and heating oil will also go up—even if the benchmark crude doesn’t move a bit. The refiners must pass on the reduction in discount (= increase in price) and so the price of heating oil and gasoline will rise. (see jsminset.com for the original story)


Of course if Brent Crude dropped considerably, as might happen if we have another '08 type crash, yes, the price even for fuel oil or gasoline would drop. But this hidden Arab move is such a slick deal that I had to mention it—and now I expect the (dumb talking heads) media to glowingly put the Saudi’s in the “good guy limelight,†when in fact they aren’t. It's sort of like what is happening at the grocery stores, "oh, we haven't changed the price at all!" (No, but you just reduced the contents by 18%--do you think we are stupid?). We live in a time of perfectly legal but absolutely obscene dishonesty. (IMHO) It's all a twist on MOPE--Management of Perception Economics.

As a side note, I have never seen a summer when my point of view of what "could happen" is so volatile. I think it's possible to see oil drop to $40/barrel (due to another '08 type "crash"), and I believe possible for it to rise to $200/barrel. Perhaps caused by a small crash--followed by a "Oh well we just gotta do a QE3...QE4, or turmoil that affects the Middle East and/or the Suez Canal. There is so much volatility and wackiness in the world it never ceases to amaze me. I wonder...how long can one store wood pellets? (Is a decade too much?)
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,778
Salem NH
Welcome Steve

You can store pellets for a very long time if they are in a dry place!

As far as pellet prices, anything can happen to future prices but let me tell you what happened the past 2 years that I have been buying them in SE NH.

Two years ago $300 a ton like NEWPs were very common price. $275 was a good price. However more and more mills have come on line giving us many more choices.

Last summer when demand slowed I purchased 3 tons of Logik-e Premium Canadian Hardwood pellets for only $250 per ton. Then last Nov Lowes came into town and started having pellet price wars with Home Depot and other Big Box stores. So as oil soared by going up approx. $1.00 per gallon, a bag of wood pellets came down approx $1.00 per bag. Being one of the coldest winters we had in many years this seamed too good to be true! However people still heating with oil were suffering with approx $700 per month oil bills by the end of the heating season!! So Lowes initially tried selling wood pellets last Nov at $5.99 per bag until their corporate headquarters got my email about Home Depot's $4.18 per bag. Then they went to $4.19 per bag and I purchased some with my $10 off on a $50 order with the coupon I got from their grand opening!! LOL Then Home Depot went to $3.74 per bag and Lowes followed suit!! This was great, we hit the jackpot. Walmart went from $6.00 per bag to $5.00 per bag and Dodge Grain was still at $5.00 per bag for their premium Logik-e wood pellets. So that was rock bottom then their 14 wheeler delivery trucks that bring approx 20 pallets of wood pellets to these big box stores each week started paying higher prices for gasoline and sadly the prices of their wood pellets went back up. At first it was back up to $4.19 per bag and then $4.68 per bag and finally $4.99 per bag just before they ran out for the summer. So we all gave them a good ride, people were running to the store each week checking the prices and picking up anywhere between a few bags and a few tons! At the low price the 20 pallets would be delivered to Lowes on Thursday evening and all gone by Saturday noon time!! It was amazing!!

So now that the big box stores are out for the summer, Dodge Grain increased their price to $5.99 per bag for the Logik-e wood pellets this summer!!!

My suggestion from all this past activity is to wait until the big box stores get pellets in this August and see what the prices are. In the past they had pre-season sales.
This year who knows what will happen but that is just my educated guess!!!

Good Luck

See pics below
Maine's Choice $3.74 per bag
Maine Wood Pellets MWP $4.18 per bag
Nature's heat $5.00 per bag
Curran Wood Pellets $3.74 per bag
Infernos $3.34 per bag with $10.00 off $50.00 order which is 12 bags!!
FireSide Ultra $3.74 per bag
Freedom fuel $3.74 per bag
 

Attachments

jsflynn603

Member
Jun 11, 2011
11
SW New Hampshire
Thanks Don,

I had no idea and had suspected that pellets would soar to over [email protected]! What a story.

I became unemployed in September, and being fearful of the oil heating season which would have cost me at the least about $900 for each month of Dec/Jan/Feb I came across a novel method of beating the cold winter. I flew to Chiang Mai, Thailand, rented a nice condo, rented a Honda Click (you don't want to have a care there!) and ate and did whatever I wanted. In the end, it was cheaper than staying and heating my farmhouse and I came closer to finding a lucrative job (one in China and one in Oman) than here (I've received a single resume request--there is no work for me in SW, NH). It's a strange world.

Ironically I had set my oil furnace to 44 degrees and when I returned, I expected a near empty 275 gallon tank. But there was only 20 gallons used! Apparently the furnace malfunctioned not too many days after I left. I have an electric baseboard back-up set to 40 degrees and overall I only used about $200 more electricity than I had expected to use--so those ultra-cold days must have been sunny. (I have tons of passive solar).

I just hope that the pellet manufacturers survived and don't all try to make up last years short-gap this summer.
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,778
Salem NH
Steve of New Hampshire said:
Thanks Don,

I had no idea and had suspected that pellets would soar to over [email protected]! What a story.

I became unemployed in September, and being fearful of the oil heating season which would have cost me at the least about $900 for each month of Dec/Jan/Feb I came across a novel method of beating the cold winter. I flew to Chiang Mai, Thailand, rented a nice condo, rented a Honda Click (you don't want to have a care there!) and ate and did whatever I wanted. In the end, it was cheaper than staying and heating my farmhouse and I came closer to finding a lucrative job (one in China and one in Oman) than here (I've received a single resume request--there is no work for me in SW, NH). It's a strange world.

Ironically I had set my oil furnace to 44 degrees and when I returned, I expected a near empty 275 gallon tank. But there was only 20 gallons used! Apparently the furnace malfunctioned not too many days after I left. I have an electric baseboard back-up set to 40 degrees and overall I only used about $200 more electricity than I had expected to use--so those ultra-cold days must have been sunny. (I have tons of passive solar).

I just hope that the pellet manufacturers survived and don't all try to make up last years short-gap this summer.
Hello Steve

Sorry to hear about your unemployment. If you apply to Citizen's Energy on Sept 1 you can get money for heating Oil next year if you are still unemployed. Last year was the first year they started doing wood pellets. So if you do get the $375 subsidey, then $375 in wood pellets would give you more heat than oil these days!!

They have offices in NH for NH residents.
http://www.citizensenergy.com/main/Home.html

Good Luck
 

Attachments

Status
Not open for further replies.