Must-See Home Construction Stats for Wood-to-Energy Plants

By Luke Geiver | January 18, 2013

Construction debris or wood waste materials from building projects are both viable and economical feedstock resources for wood-to-energy facilities. Information from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that over the final two months of 2012, both feedstock resources should be increasing in volume.

In November 2012, building permits for privately-owned houses rose 3.6 percent from the previous month, reaching an annual rate in November of 899,000 permits. That number is 26.8 percent higher than the rate for November 2011 when the building permit rate was 709,000. In December 2012, the building permit rate rose again another 0.3 percent for an annual rate of 903,000, a rate 28.8 percent higher than the December 2011 estimate.

For housing starts, the numbers are encouraging as well. For November 2012, the adjusted annual rate totaled 861,000, or 21.6 percent above the November 2011 rate of 708,000. For December 2012, the annual rate totaled 954,000, a 12.1 percent rate above the previous month, and a 36.9 percent rate above December 2011 rate of 697,000.

And finally, the numbers for house completions add to the encouraging signs that more homes have received permits, commenced construction or have been completed in 2012 than in 2011. For feedstock suppliers or buyers, that should come as welcome news. In December 2012, the seasonally adjusted annual rate for house completions equaled 686,000, 1.6 percent higher than November and 13.2 percent higher than the annual rate of 606,000 in December 2011.

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce also has important information. Construction spending in November 2012 reached $866 billion, a 7.7 increase from the November 2011 estimate of $804 billion. Over the first 11 months of the year, construction spending equaled $781.4 billion, a 9.2 percent increase from the $715.4 billion for the same period in 2011. (Totals for December 2012 will not be released until February).