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

December 11, 2020 

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

From the Director's Desk: 'Tis the Season

I’d like to begin by directing you to a few items in the news section of this edition of the Pellet Wire.

First, I’ll echo the disappointment expressed by our colleagues at the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association regarding the Step 1 sell-through deadline and their appeal to the EPA to extend the deadline, considering that many retailers had to close due to COVID-19 restrictions thereby losing those valuable last opportunities to move any remaining Step 1 inventory they had. Most disappointing of all, is how straightforward the ask was and how slowly the ship that is federal regulation can turn. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for a retailer who was sitting on a handful (or more) of Step 1 inventory, simultaneously working to run a retail operation through COVID-19 shutdowns and slowdowns having to stomach the financial injury of watching that deadline come and go without one final opportunity to move that product out. This should have been a slam dunk, and somehow it wasn’t.

Next, I’d ask everyone to give the news item regarding the invitation for public comment on a three-year extension of form EIA-63C or the “Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report” (pay close attention to the final paragraph). The Energy Information Administration is proposing no changes but is hoping to better understand how much utility the report offers producers while also inviting any suggestions from those of us who use the report on what might make it better. If you are a frequent reader of the Pellet Wire, you know that I feel strongly that the report offers incredible value to wood pellet supply chain participants, but what I want and need from the report, is certainly different from what producers want and need. I know some of you have some ideas about how to make the report more valuable including some right sizing of the regions, the inclusion of BBQ production in total production numbers, clarity on how feedstocks are reported (dry matter basis vs. as received), etc. The Pellet Fuels Institute will absolutely be offering comments about the relative utility of the report and we will be hosting an informal discussion this month. If you would like to participate in that discussion, please send me an email and I will make sure to include you in our scheduling efforts. Of course, producers can and should offer comments specific to their own needs as well, recognizing that each manufacturer and supply chain participant likely has unique wants and needs. The deadline for comments is January 29, 2021. We’ll look to have an initial conversation later next week or the first few days of the holiday week. 

Finally, this month the Pellet Fuels Institute began its annual membership renewal cycle and it would be hard to argue that there’s been a year for the PFI specifically and associations generally where a strong renewal turnout was more important than it is this year. The financial impact of a scuttled annual conference was very real, but the PFI can and will overcome that blow so long as our membership remains committed to the organization. I feel confident that 2021 will see us return to gathering in person, for our annual conference, for our board meetings, for retailer visits and as necessary for state and federal advocacy efforts. I invite you to continue in your support of the Pellet Fuels Institute and renew your membership for 2021 today. 

To Renew Your Membership:

Most members can complete their renewal by simply paying the invoice that was included in the renewal reminder email or online.

Pellet Fuel Manufacturers must complete the online renewal form and provide their 2020 sales totals to calculate their dues. An invoice will be provided. Payment can be completed online, over the phone, or by mailing a check.

If you have any questions about your renewal, please call (206-209-5277) or email the PFI Office.


Tim Portz 
Executive Director

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More Industry News

EPA fails to extend sales deadline for Step 1 wood heaters (Biomass Magazine)

The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association posted a notice to its website on Nov. 18 announcing it has received confirmation from the U.S. EPA that the agency will not be providing a sell-through period for Step 1 residential wood heating appliances.

Read Full Article

EIA seeks comments on extension of densified biomass fuel report (Biomass Magazine)

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is inviting public comments on a proposed three-year extension of its form to collect data for the Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which features data on the manufacture, shipment, export, energy characteristics and sales of densified biomass fuels, including wood pellets.

Read Full Article

Highland Pellets Closes $135 Million Capital Partnership with Orion Energy Partners (Business Wire)

Highland Pellets LLC (Highland”) has announced a strategic capital partnership with Orion Energy Partners, L.P. (“Orion Energy”) to fund the expansion and upgrade of its existing wood pellet facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas as well as provide capital for additional long-term growth initiatives.

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute

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