June 8, 2018

In This Week's Pellet Wire:

Executive Director's Notes - Week Ending June 8, 2018

For the last two weeks, the PFI staff, board, and broader team have been driving hard to finalize all of the many details that make up our annual conference. The agenda has evolved in a number of important ways and I hope you'll take a minute to review the schedule as it stands now. I'm happy to report that the key conversations we were hoping to have at the conference are scheduled and populated with speakers I'm looking forward to speaking with.

Most recently, we've added a conversation about the PFI Standards Program and what the future holds for the program, its participants and PFI. Without a doubt, this is the issue that generates the most passionate discussion within our organization. I'm pleased to let you know that we've  put together a panel that gives the varied positions on the program equal billing which I think is vitally important. I expect a lively debate, but I think it is crucial as we move forward as an organization to decide how and where the standards program fits into what we do.

I'm really looking forward to our time together at the PFI Conference to ask these and other important questions of our members and our affiliated retail partners.

Panel Preview - Catching Up with John Crouch, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association

Last week I caught up with John Crouch and asked him to preview a couple of the questions I intend to ask while we are together in Myrtle Beach. I've included his answers below.

TP: Are we maximizing programs like Stove Swap Outs and state level tax credits to the best of our abilities? What should PFI's role be in amplifying those programs and opportunities for consumers?

JC: Woodstove Change Out programs can be a great leveraging opportunity, but they can also be a challenge for PFI. They are unpredictable and localized. Having said that, they are also programs where consumers, who have a history with an old woodstove, are drawn into stores with a subsidy of anywhere from $500 to $1500, and invited to buy, anything that is cleaner than their old stove. Change outs are not only an opportunity to sell appliances but are also a promotional focus, which may influence the overall positive perception of the category in that region. There have been change-out programs where PFI members kicked in promotional discounts, that have dried up, ironically, just as the change-outs got bigger. Right now the biggest change-out doesn't include pellet stoves, and that has to be addressed.

TP: What is the best argument for wood pellet heat with consumers today?

JC: I'm not sure about the 'best' argument, but certainly we need to move beyond, 'cheapest home heating'. I think some candidates to replace that argument would be the energy security component or an alternative heat source at a consumer's home or stressing the long-term price stability pellets have demonstrated. Additionally, we really need to be talking more about the renewable and zero-net carbon properties of wood pellets with millennials, the next generation of homebuyers in this country.

- Tim Portz, Executive Director

Only TWO Weeks Till the PFI Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach! ! 

We are excited to see you in Myrtle Beach in only two weeks (June 24-26)! Hotel rooms are almost full so book today if you haven't already.  

There are only a few of spots remaining in the golf tournament. Sign up soon if you want to tee off with your fellow pellet fuels industry members on a "National Golf Course of the Year," the gorgeous Grande Dunes Resort Golf Course! 

The PFI Annual Conference highlights the various applications of densified biomass, as well as trends and best practices within the densified biomass industry. It attracts a broad range of individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, and local, state and national governments from North America and beyond. The conference features two days of educational sessions as well as industry exhibits, extensive networking opportunities, and a golf tournament. The golf tournament is a great way to experience some friendly competition with your friends and colleagues in the industry while playing on a top-notch course. 

The agenda, previewed by Tim Portz in Nashville and here in Pellet Wire, is shaping up nicely. See the panels and information sessions we have in store on the PFI website.  

Send Us Photos

We're building a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills and product. Send them to Carrie Annand at [email protected]. This week's featured photo is thanks to Lori Hamer of Hamer Pellet

Become a 2018 PFI Sponsor in June

Don't miss the opportunity to sponsor PFI just in time for the annual conference! 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 options 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.

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.

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

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

The Z Grills Elite 900 Is an All-in-one Cookout Workhorse That's Easy to Use  

It's just about time for BBQ season regardless of where you happen to be in North America, which means grilling time, too. The Z Grills Elite 900 is a new smoker/BBQ/general purpose cooker option that combines a lot of versatility into a relatively compact package, without requiring the kind of special attention and handholding that you often get with real wood smoker options.

Z Grills is a U.S. company based out of Burlingame, California, headed by founder Jasper Yu. The young company has a team of engineers working on its design, which incorporates the easy, single dial cooking style of most gas and propane BBQs with real wood smoke and flavor from a pellet feeder and electric heating element design.

This lets it achieve both consistent and reliable convection-based heat, as well as generate smoke from a range of different wood pellet types of fuel, which means you can get a lot of different flavors depending on what you're cooking. These come out relatively subtle, in my testing, which is great, because often what happens with other styles of cookers like this is that the smoke flavor becomes overwhelming, no matter how easy you try to go.

Read Full Article

Zero Carbon Home Generates Income by Making More Energy Than It Needs 

The home of the future could slash your utility bills and generate enough money to help pay the mortgage. UK firm Koru Architects designed and built one such house, named the Lloyd House, that's effectively zero-carbon and runs entirely on renewable energy. Tucked away on a quiet street in England's East Sussex, this contemporary home generates more energy than it consumes and even brings in a net income of £2650 per year from solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, and a wood-chip biomass boiler.

Read Full Article

640,000 Tons of Densified Biomass Fuel Sold in February 
Biomass Magazine

he U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing that U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 570,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in February, with sales reaching 640,000 tons during the month.

The data was released as part of the May edition of EIA's Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for February. The EIA collected data from 87 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel to complete the report. The report does not include data from facilities with capacities of less than 10,000 tons per year, which report data annually rather than monthly.

The 87 manufacturers that submitted data in February reported have a combined annual production capacity of 11.79 million tons and collectively had an equivalent of 1,964 full-time employees.

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute

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