February 27, 2015



PFI would like to welcome you to the Pellet Times, a newsletter we’ll be bringing to you every other month. The Pellet Times will offer more personalized content from and for our members, and will dive deeper into many subject areas, much like the PFI Newsletter did over the years.

The December 2014 issue of the PFI Newsletter was our last. With weekly Pellet Wire emails and new issues of the Pellet Times we will keep you plugged in and in tune with the pulse of the densified biomass industry.

Membership in PFI: Why Join?

By Darryl Rose
PFI Chairman

I am often asked by non-members what's the value of joining PFI. For us, it was an easy decision -Energex has been a member of PFI since its inception and it's easy to see the value.  PFI is the oldest and most universally recognized pellet fuel association on the planet. 


This alone more than pays for the price of membership.  By tapping into such a diverse knowledge base we all learn how to more efficiently operate our plants and are made aware of important issues that affect all of us. 

Board Involvement

All members and in particular, pellet fuel manufacturers, have an opportunity to serve on the board of the PFI.  Energex have been fortunate to be represented for over twenty years.    There was a time when the board was perceived as being "the old boys club" but newly established term limits guarantee we have a proper balance of experience and fresh blood.  Also, by  allowing only one board member per company we are ensuring diversity of opinions while reducing voting influence.  This year alone, four new members were added to the Board and next year we will add several more.   My Board term will be up in 18 months and the industry will benefit from a fresh perspective from the next generation of leaders.  By participating at the Board level you have the opportunity to give back to the industry while also helping to chart the future of the North American pellet industry.  I’m happy to talk with you about Board service as well as other areas where you can be involved with PFI.


The Board makes ultimate decisions but much of the work is done at the committee level and all members are encouraged to participate on numerous committees.  Government Affairs and Standards are but two but are great examples of how you can play a significant role in determining where our industry is headed.

Helping to Carry the Load

PFI represents the interests of all fuel manufacturers in North America and is actively engaged with legislators at all levels.  These efforts can be expensive but absolutely necessary for our survival. By joining PFI we are sharing the expenses associated with defending our right to do business.   Our collective voice must be heard and we have an obligation to all within our industry as well as the consumers who ultimately keep us in business and turn to us for low cost, high value, environmentally conscious heating alternatives.

If you’re thinking about PFI membership, take a look at the various benefits you’d receive by joining.  Or, contact any one of the members of the Board , who are always willing to speak with you.   

PFI Committees Welcome Your Participation 

By Ron Leofsky 

PFI Membership Committee Co-Chair 

I have been involved with PFI committees for a number of years—Membership, Standards, Conference and others .  Committees are a great way to be connected with other PFI members and make potential business alliances. And, you are directly involved with the work of the association. You help set its course.

PFI is always looking for members to serve on committees. While we always encourage members with specific skill sets to serve on the committees that best fit those skills, the main requirement  for PFI committee membership is passion and willingness to serve.

The following PFI committees currently have openings.

  • Conference Committee
  • Export and Domestic Bulk Fuel
  • Government Affairs Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Promotions and Communications Committee

Committees meet via teleconference on an as needed basis. I encourage you to think about serving on a committee—they are the pulse of the organization.

To read more about each of our committees and to learn how to participate, visit the committee section of the website. 

Join PFI's Standards Program

Learn more at HPBExpo

Get recognition for your top-notch fuel by qualifying for the PFI Standards Program.

By joining PFI’s program, your company will be able to display the Quality Mark – with its designation as “PFI Graded Fuel” – on your fuel bags. This mark is a clear symbol to consumers and retailers of your company’s commitment to quality.  The first step toward joining the program is to contact an accredited auditing agency. They’ll walk you through the steps your company needs to take to join the ranks of the PFI Standards Program’s qualified production facilities

Learn more about PFI’s Standards Program at HPBExpo .

We will be holding a session that is open to all attendees at 10:30am on Friday, March 6, in Room 205AB. At the session, you will hear from:

  • Richard Thomas, owner of Courtland Hearth & Hardware, who will discuss his experiences with pellets from producers who are producing fuel that qualifies for the PFI Standards Program
  • Chris Wiberg with Timber Products Inspection, a testing laboratory, who will tell you more about what it takes to join the program – and how accredited auditing agencies will help you, and
  • John Crouch with HPBA, who will tell you about what the EPA’s new requirements will mean to both the wood stove and pellet industries.

 Hope to see you there! 

Breakfast & Biomass: Still Time to Register

Join the Pellet Fuels Institute in Nashville, TN, next Friday, March 6 for Breakfast & Biomass: A Briefing on the Pellet Market. Held at HPBExpo, the breakfast offers a chance to meet with colleagues throughout the pellet industry and to dive in to a variety of timely topics, including:

The 2015 Policy/Regulatory Landscape (including information on EPA’s NSPS Rule

2014 Pellet Stove Shipment Report

Pellet Standards

Pellet Market Overview and Opportunities

Please note that all who wish to participate in the breakfast must be registered attendees of HPBExpo

Registration must be done in advance and can be completed as you register for the expo. Please visit our website for more information on the breakfast and to be linked to the registration page. 

We will have a VERY LIMITED number of walk up registrations available. We encourage you to register in advance by Tuesday, March 3.

EIA Data Collection: Your Comments Due on Monday 

As we reported to you previously, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is seeking public comment on a draft survey of densified biomass manufacturers.  As proposed, the survey would require pellet manufacturers  to report information to EIA monthly on a range of data related to facilities and operations, including production, inventory, and sales locally and nationally.

PFI is finalizing its comments to submit on behalf of the association. We encourage you to review the proposed survey and submit comments on behalf of your own businesses. It is very important that EIA receive comments on this proposal, as a low volume of comments could be interpreted as a lack of interest from industry and weaken the chances of the survey’s implementation. The data produced as a result of this survey’s implementation will be a valuable asset to your businesses, Members of Congress, PFI and its affiliates. Please take a few moments to review the proposed survey and provide comment. 

Click here to view a brief presentation provided to PFI by EIA on the significance of this survey.

The full proposal can be found here. Comments should be directed to Rebecca Peterson at [email protected].

The public comment period ends this Monday, March 2nd.

Please contact Jennifer Hedrick with questions or comments. 

Government Affairs Roundup  

Over the last several weeks there has been a significant amount of policy and regulatory activity in Washington, DC and elsewhere.

EPA has issued the final rule of the New Source Performance Standard for New Residential Wood Heaters, ending over four years of speculation as to the rule’s contents. PFI issued a release shortly after the rule was signed and has been analyzing the rule and its impact for the past several weeks.  We have also been engaging EPA and plan to meet with them next week at their Research Triangle Park, NC offices to glean further information and clarification on the rule’s contents.

We anticipate sharing our analysis and response to the rule with PFI members in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned.

Last week, Senator Angus King (I-ME) held an event at Mt. Abram ski resort in Maine to highlight the facility’s investments in renewable energy technologies.    The event was set up to provide a platform for Sen. King to announce plans to reintroduce the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act.  

On the heels of this event, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) announced his plans to sponsor the BTU Act in the House at National Life Group’s Montpelier campus.   The company installed two biomass boilers in 2010 to heat its 500,000 square foot headquarters, making it one of the largest commercial buildings in Vermont. 

PFI issued a press release applauding the commitment of these Members of Congress to champion the BTU Act. We have plans to continue our advocacy related to the BTU Act, including meetings on the Hill and efforts to secure additional sponsors in both the House and Senate.

If you’re attending Breakfast & Biomass:  A Briefing on the Pellet Market next week, you’ll get a full update on these and other policy and regulatory initiatives. 

PFI members have access to government affairs reports issued weekly by our contract lobbyist, Orion Advocates. To view these reports simply log in to the Members Only section of the website to stay fully informed. 

Advertise in The Pellet Times

Increase your exposure to densified biomass audiences by advertising in this space. More information on PFI advertising opportunities can be found here.

Pellet Fuels Institute | www.pelletheat.org | [email protected]