Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!
January 7, 2022

From the Director's Desk:

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2022. The calendar flip finds the wood pellet industry managing through a lackluster winter all across pellet burning regions of the country. The PFI Index (now published on our homepage) shows slight improvement in accumulated Heating Degree Days in most geographies but still lagging long term averages. An artic air mass moved into Minnesota for the final week of the year and the forecast has a handful of days on it where the mercury will never climb above zero. Still, the entire state is lagging long term HDD averages, putting it right on trend with the rest of wood pellet land. 

The Pellet Fuels Institute has its work cut out for it in 2022 and a combination of factors outlined in this edition of the Pellet Wire make that clear. I’ve included a story in the Industry News section that should get everyone’s attention. On January 4th, the Times Union of Albany reported that a state council charged with the task of making the state carbon-neutral by 2050 is recommending that state codes be amended to prohibit the installation of heating appliances that burn fossil fuels. The story then goes on to note that the same council has also set its sights on wood combustion (including pellets) citing particulate matter. While the story clarifies that the council isn’t currently considering a ban on wood heat, the implications are nevertheless sobering. 

There is incredible momentum towards a decarbonization of our energy infrastructure and while those of us within the wood energy are well versed in the carbon benefits of wood energy, the Times Union story makes it clear that many groups spearheading the thinking on decarbonization approaches are either ignorant of the carbon benefits of wood pellets or remain unconvinced by the claims made by the broader wood energy sector. 

We are on the right side of the decarbonization ledger, but stories like the one printed in the Times Union highlight the folly of trusting the policy wonks to fully understand our industry, the value we add to the forest products sector and the carbon benefit of wood heat without help. 

We better get busy. 

The PFI Index

Heating Degree Days (YTD vs. norm)

Dec. 18, 2021

Jan. 1, 2022

Portland, ME

down 20%

down 18%

Grand Rapids, MI

down 22%

down 21%

Lewiston, MT

down 24%

down 15%

Harrisburg, PA

down 25%

down 26%

Rapid City, SD

down 20%

down 15%

Spokane, WA

down 18%

down 12%

Baker, OR

down 9%

down 8%

Wausau, WI

down 30%

down 23%

Youngstown, OH

down 23%

down 24%

Little Rock, AR

down 20%

down 29%

—Tim Portz
Executive Director

Send Us Photos! Help us build a collection of photos of our members, their pellet mills, and product! Send images to Tim Portz at [email protected].

Photo of the Week:

Fare Thee Well, Charlie: On Monday I received an email that I suspect many readers of the Pellet Wire also received. In the email Charlie announced that he would be stepping away from his day-to-day work in wood pellet advocacy. Like so many other professionals in wood energy, I count Charlie as a mentor.

Charlie has served as a tireless advocate throughout his career for the entire wood energy supply chain at both state and federal levels. He would argue this point but I’ll make it anyway. Any awareness of modern wood heating within Congress can be traced back to Charlie. That’s an incredible legacy and a mantle that must now be picked up and carried forward. Thanks for everything Charlie. 

Photo: Tim Portz

Industry News

Heating Degree Days Data

Heating degree day data January 1, 2022 data collection summary. (Worthy of a bookmark.)
View Data

EIA Monthly Densified Biomass Report (with September data)

As of September 2021, the monthly data collection included 80 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel.
Read Article

PFI Highlights Economic, Environmental Benefits of Wood Pellets

On Dec. 13, the Pellet Fuels Institute published “Sustainable from the Beginning: 3 Facts about Wood Pellet Manufacturing and Use,” a document that outlines the economic and environmental benefits of wood pellet heating and grilling.
Read Article

State's Climate Council Wants Heat Pumps in All New Homes by 2024 by Roger Hannigan Gilson

The state council tasked with making New York carbon-neutral by 2050 wants to rapidly transition the state's homes away from propane, oil and gas heating to electric heat pumps.
Read Article

Tree Talk: Missed Opportunities by Robert Fogg

If you follow my monthly column, you’ve probably noticed my big push lately for us to switch away from fossil fuel heat, such as oil and gas, in favor of modern wood heat like wood pellets.
Read Article

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Visit PFI's Committee Page for more information.

Have News to Share in the Pellet Wire?

We would love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! Let us be the first to know about your company's recent developments, and we will share them with the broader pellet fuels industry.

Please get in touch with Tim Portz via email at [email protected] with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news.

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