March 16, 2018

In This Week's Pellet Wire:

Notes from Nashville 

Last month I put together a list of things I was looking forward to in Nashville and published that list in the February 23 edition of the Pellet Wire. On the flight home from Nashville last Friday I reviewed that list to see how I did, how the PFI did.The early thinking is that for myself and for the PFI, our time together in Nashville was a runaway success. As I expected, there were a handful of conversations that I wanted to have but simply ran out time before I could have them. Specifically, I had hoped to catch up with some members of the hearth and home trade media I wasn't able to connect with Richard Wright at Hearth & Home Magazine. Richard, I owe you a call.


The most important item on my list was what I'll walk away from Nashville the most excited about, my time with the board. In my role, I work at the pleasure of the board and their needs become my needs. I can't say enough about how impressed I am by their passion for the industry certainly, and for the PFI in particular. I was inspired by their enthusiasm for what the PFI can and should be. Also, I had a lot of fun learning more about our board members as people. Our board includes people who hunt, fish, travel, cook, spend time with their families and like what they do for a living. I even found a fellow native Iowan (you know who you are).

Also important to me was raising the profile of the PFI with our Hearth & Home marketplace partners. In anticipation of our presence at the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo our Promotions & Communications committee conceived of and executed a quick-turn t-shirt concept to pass out while we were in Nashville. We printed 50 of the t-shirts you see can see in the photos and we could very easily have found takers for another 50. I couldn't be happier that we did it and for everyone that took a shirt and immediately pulled it over whatever they were wearing, thank you. I noticed and it is much appreciated.


The event we were all there for, Breakfast & Biomass, was a great success. Our preparations certainly paid off and I think we made it very clear that the new direction for PFI is to aggressively pursue market growth.


Immediately following Breakfast & Biomass a sizable contingent of members and producer members sat down with Lisa Rector, a Senior Policy Analyst at NESCAUM (Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management). Lisa was a speaker at the PFI Annual Conference and has long asserted that increasing the percentage of certified pellet appliances in the inventory of wood heat appliances in homes in the Northeast would have positive air quality impacts. She highlighted some state-level programs, including the Renewable Heat NY program that recognizes that same fact and has incentives for homeowners twho want to replace a wood burning fireplace with a more efficient wood heating appliance, including pellet stoves. Lisa even connected her efforts at NESCAUM with our efforts in Operation 100k, which she had just heard about moments before. She gets points for that and her argument was very compelling.

Finally, the time came and went too quickly. Conversations I had hoped to continue before I left will have to continue over the phone (I'm looking at you, John Ackerly). Now, it's time to buckle down and push toward our annual conference in Myrtle Beach. You can actually help me in that regard. We need some early momentum in registration, sponsorships, and exhibits. I'll be reaching out personally next week, but if you know you are going to be there, please register now. It matters. Danson's has generously donated a pellet grill for us to use as a motivator. So, for everyone who registers before March 30 will be entered into a drawing to win for that grill.

- Tim Portz, Executive Director 

Send Us Photos
We're building a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills and product. Send them to Carrie Annand. Thanks to Indeck Ladysmith for the above photo
(photo credit: Tim Portz). 

Does Your State or Province Offer a Pellet Stove Rebate?
Idaho, Montana, New York, Maryland, Vermont, Maine, Nova Scotia, or British Columbia: what do these U.S. states and Canadian provinces have in common? If you guessed that new pellet stove purchasers are eligible for significant state tax deductions, you win a free t-shirt! (Please email Tim Portz for details.)

The same goes for certain localities in California, Colorado, Washington, Utah, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts-state and local governments see pellet stoves as a way to cut down on particulate matter released by traditional wood-burning fireplaces, and they incentivize residents to buy new pellet stoves with a tax credit. Certain conditions may apply.

Be sure to check HPBA's handy resource on state and local government tax credits for pellet stoves-and don't forget to share these tips with appliance retailers, who can use these incentives to sell more stoves.

Become a 2018 PFI Sponsor in March

Don't miss the opportunity to sponsor PFI in 2018! Sponsorship at all levels brings many perks, along with exposure for your company to the pellet fuels industry. By signing up to sponsor the association early in 2018, you will reap the benefits throughout the coming year.

The 2018 sponsorship packages include benefits such as:

  • PFI Annual Conference registrations
  • Company logo listed on the PFI website
  • 10x10 booth at the PFI Annual Conference
  • Weekly newsletter advertising
  • Website advertising
  • And more!

PFI's membership list includes more than 100 companies, and the Pellet Wire, our electronic newsletter, is sent to close to 2,000 subscribers every week. Now is the time to become a sponsor of this organization. Visit our website to explore how you can become involved.

We Need Your Input for PFI's 2018 Events

Are there any topics that you'd like to see addressed at PFI's Annual Conference in June? We'd like to hear from you. Nominate speakers, suggest panels, experts, themes and ideas. The Conference Committee wants to be sure to reflect the preferences and needs of PFI membership as much as possible.

Be sure to check our updated online calendar with information on many events happening during 2018. Most important, mark your calendars for next year's PFI events! 

If our calendar is missing any events that you're planning to attend, please send an email to Carrie

Follow PFI on Twitter, Friend Us on Facebook, and Connect with Us on LinkedIn 

We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Carrie Annand news or other ideas to post on LinkedIn.

Do You Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please be in touch with Carrie Annand with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news. 

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach, or grow the PFI Standards Program. Visit PFI's website for more information. 

Upcoming Industry Events

March 20, 2018: International Mass Timber Conference

April 16, 2018: International Biomass Conference & Expo

May 1, 2018: Heating the Midwest

June 24 - 26, 2018: PFI Annual Conference 

Connect with PFI
Join PFI

Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member, pellet manufacturer, or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Industry News

Enviva Enters Contract to Supply Wood Pellets to Japanese
Biomass Magazine

On Feb. 22, Enviva Partners LP released fourth quarter financial results and announced it has entered into a firm 10-year take-or-pay offtake contract with Marubeni Corp. to supply 100,000 metric tons per year of wood pellets to a new power plant in Japan, starting in 2022.

Net revenue for the quarter reached $161 million, up 27.3 percent when compared to fourth quarter of 2016. Included in net revenue were product sales of $156.1 million on a volume of 805,000 metric tons of wood pellets, compared to $121.2 million on a volume of 632,000 metric tons of wood pellets during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Gross margin for the fourth quarter reached $25.7 million, up from $19.2 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Adjusted gross margin per metric tons was $47.43 for the quarter, up from $42.95 during the fourth quarter of 2016. Net income for the quarter was $7.9 million, compared to a net loss of $9.6 million.

Read Full Article

Pinnacle, West Fraser to Redevelop Particle Board Plant to Produce Wood Pellets
Canadian Manufacturing

Pinnacle Renewable Holdings Inc. says it's moving forward with plans to redevelop an existing Smithers, B.C., particle board facility to produce wood pellets.

The company is redeveloping the site under the Smithers Pellet Limited Partnership, in which it owns a 70 per cent interest and West Fraser Timber Co Ltd. owns the rest.

Pinnacle says the facility will have an annual production capacity of 125,000 tonnes and will be linked directly by rail to its Westview Port Terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C.

The company says pellet production is expected to start in the third quarter this year and that it already has secured wood fibre supply and off-take agreements under long-term contracts.

The pellets will be burned to generate electricity as part of a growing practice to use the renewable resource in power generation.

Read Full Article

Pellet Stoves and Solar Panels: The Perfect Match? 
Biomass Magazine

Pellet stoves are one of the cheapest ways to reduce a home's carbon footprint. A perfect complement to solar panels, they could be pitched as part of a package for homes. But states need to start promoting them, as they do solar panels.

Solar panels are the way of the future for millions of U.S. homes. But they aren't sized to carry the heating load of most houses in the country. A pellet stove can easily provide 50 to 90 percent of the heating needs for millions of American homes with an installed price of $3,000 to $5,000.  

All states that have solar incentive budgets should include incentives for pellet stoves. Many with the highest incentives for solar are ideal for pellet stoves. One of the best arguments to present to states is not just that pellets are an affordable way to reduce fossil fuel use, but that they can also reduce demand for polluting wood stoves. If states had more aggressively steered people to pellet stoves over the past several decades, fewer households would have installed old, second-hand wood stoves that are then removed through expensive stove change-out programs.

Read Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute

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