Wood pellet pricing now part of N.H. energy report

By Luke Geiver | February 02, 2012

The New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) is now the second state-affiliated energy information provider in the Northeastern U.S. to include average residential pricing for wood pellets used in home heating applications, following Maine, the first to include wood pellet pricing data in its weekly fuel report. As of January 30, 2012, the New Hampshire OEP fuel prices report shows that one ton of delivered wood pellets costs roughly $237. The price used on the OEP report is generated by averaging the price data provided by several wood pellet providers in the state.

The OEP also offers a heating cost calculator that allows a user to calculate the least expensive way to heat a home while also giving the user a better understanding “as to the most economical way to heat your hot water and dry your clothes,” according to the OEP. The calculator shows that using wood pellets provides 80 percent efficiency rates, compared to coal, No. 2 fuel oil or natural gas that all plateau at a 78 percent efficiency rate. The price per million Btu for wood pellets is roughly $18.03, while coal equals $16.98, fuel oil $35.78 and natural gas $13.85.

In Maine, the price per ton of wood pellets for the week of January 30 totaled $236, but more importantly, the Maine Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security (OEIS) outlined the current geopolitical landscape conflicts that might affect home heating costs and consumers in the Northeast region that remains dependent on fuel oil.

“Heating oil prices remained relatively flat,” said OEIS Director Ken Fletcher, for the week of January 30, 2012. “While a potential European Union embargo on Iranian oil and continued threats by Iran to block a key crude oil shipment route hung over the geopolitical scene.” He added that about one-fifth of the global supply of crude oil is shipped through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and any blockade in this area could raise tensions, disrupt world oil supplies and push heating oil prices higher, especially as winter demand rises.

To view New Hampshire’s fuel price report that now includes wood pellets, click here