Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!

January 8, 2021 

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

From the Director's Desk: The Clock Starts Now

It is feasible that this Monday, the first business day of 2021, an American homeowner could have purchased a new wood pellet stove, motivated in part by a 26% investment tax credit included in the federal COVID-19 relief package. It is unlikely, but not impossible. Still, I think it helps to frame up the work in front of us to amplify this incentive with consumers, anticipate their challenges and frustrations, and working in concert with our appliance and retailing partners leverage this opportunity for maximum benefit.

Remember Operation 100k? Initially conceived as shorthand for the PFI’s ambitions to grow demand for wood pellets, Operation 100k became a framework for guiding the efforts and attentions of the association’s limited time and budget. As a board and as committees we continually asked ‘Will this lead to increased demand for wood pellets?’. People could and did argue whether or not an idea or an investment would lead to increased demand, but no one could argue with the aim. Mostly, our members make wood pellets. Those that don’t make the appliances that burn them or sell those appliances. Those that don’t fit into either of those categories support those that do with the materials and services they need.

The inclusion of portions of BTU Act in the COVID-19 relief package is the biggest federal boost this sector has ever experienced but left untended it certainly has the potential to fizzle. While a tax credit for qualifying wood pellet appliances (and qualifying wood stoves) is now available to consumers, who apart from the trade associations and industry participants that have called for its passage actually know about it? The honest answer is a humbling ‘no one’. But that is, and has to be, a temporary reality.

For the ITC to bear fruit, every wood heating stakeholder will have to participate in the amplification, promotion, and explanation of the tax credit and how to access it.  Our retail partners will no doubt be the tip of spear, working to help consumers select qualifying appliances and answering questions about how to capture the tax credit the legislation promises. Here is where we (and our association partners) can play a huge role. 

I’ll close with a simple example. This morning I found myself wondering just how a consumer would claim their credit and an industry colleague mentioned IRS form 5695, entitled simply Residential Energy Credits. So far so good. Still, have a close look at form 5695. Line 1 reads “Qualified solar electric property costs”. Line 2 asks about solar water heating, the next line asks for small wind cost and so on. What the form doesn’t ask for is qualified residential space heating costs, yet. Until its changed, it is easy to see how this could create some confusion and uncertainty. The form, and its accompanying instructions will no doubt be updated, but when? Someone will have to take up the responsibility of ensuring it gets changed, in as timely a fashion as is possible. Once complete, an FAQ will need to be prepared which can be shared broadly with retailers for their own webpages. Fortunately, there is a precedent, and we would be wise to observe how industries who are already enjoying the tax credit have done it. I found this one in a short Google search.

Our association has plenty to accomplish and work towards in 2021 and our efforts to amplify the tax credit is just one item on our “to-do” list. Still, considering the effort we all expended to see the legislation be passed coupled with the belief that it could significantly impact wood pellet appliance uptake, it would be a shame to give it short shrift and have the opportunity squandered.

Tim Portz 
Executive Director

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

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 fuel production! 

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

  1. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and business associates to follow us
  3. Send Tim Portz news or other ideas to post on PFI's social media

Share Your Company's News on Pellet Wire

We'd 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. 

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 Committee Page for more information.

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.

Thanks for Your Continued Support of PFI! 

Not a member yet? Learn more about how PFI can work for you and join today! 


Industry News

COVID relief bill will be a gamechanger for residential wood heat (Biomass Magazine)

The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress on Dec. 21 includes provisions of the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act and will enact a three-year investment tax credit (ITC) for high-efficiency home heating equipment that fires wood pellets, chips or cordwood.

Read Full Article

President Trump Signs COVID Relief Bill, Resident Components of BTU Act Included in Package

On Sunday, December 27 President Trump signed H.R. 133 the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 into law, one of the largest federal spending measures in United States history. Included in the bill are provisions of the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act (BTU Act), a tax provision long sought by advocates of modern wood heating including the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI).

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute

[email protected] | (206) 209-5277 |