Biomass industry welcomes record pellet demand in Northeast

By Biomass Thermal Energy Council | October 29, 2014

The biomass industry has announced that it is experiencing record demand for wood pellet heating fuel in the United States, particularly in the Northeastern region. The Pellet Fuels Institute and the Biomass Thermal Energy Council commended consumers for planning their pellet purchasing in preparation for the winter season. The two groups highlighted the importance of purchasing pellets at a steady pace to avoid demand spikes.

"Last winter was especially cold and long, particularly in the Northeast, and many pellet fuels consumers are planning ahead to be prepared for this season," said Jennifer Hedrick, executive director of PFI. "At this time it's important for consumers to recognize that purchasing large amounts of pellets that exceed their likely demand for the heating season could result in a personal surplus at the end of the season."

Many winter forecasts have been adjusted in recent weeks to reflect warmer conditions than originally predicted, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated household expenditures for winter heating fuels will decrease for 2014-2015.

"We're seeing an impressive demand for woody biomass for residential heating across the United States. Producers and retailers throughout the country are delivering the renewable fuel from regions with strong supply to regions with the highest demand. We're excited to see this pellet delivery network developing around the country, while the pellet fuels industry is further adjusting its output to meet this growing market," said Joseph Seymour, executive director of BTEC.

Heating residences and businesses with renewable biomass is cost-effective and becoming increasingly popular around the country. Well over 1 million homes across the country have installed pellet heating appliances, and approximately 2.5 million homes heat primarily with wood. Heating with wood has historically been cheaper than heating with electricity and fossil fuels such as heating oil and propane.