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

December 24, 2020 

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

From the Director's Desk:

With the inclusion of provisions of the BTU Act in the COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress on the Monday of Christmas week I was tempted to craft a headline tying the two together. I considered something about Santa coming early, or a play on the Christmas miracle theme but both of those ideas felt off-the-mark and frankly, inaccurate.

While I’ll admit surprise about the inclusion of provisions of the BTU Act in the relief package, I just couldn’t sweep aside over a decade of work, the commitment of monetary resources and the tireless efforts of the Pellet Fuels Institute, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, the Biomass Thermal Energy Council and everyone else who has ever heeded our (or anyone’s) call to reach out to their elected representatives and ask that clean, renewable wood heat finally be elevated to the same stature as other clean energy technologies with a market expanding investment tax-credit. This was no miracle. It was a grind that reaches back over a decade.

Just three weeks ago I joined a wood energy roundtable conference call organized by Julie Tucker at the U.S. Forest Service where our colleagues in the broader wood heat sector opined about what a Biden administration might mean for our sector. As we were discussing the potential opportunities and challenges that invariably come with any change of administration, everyone signaled an intent to champion the BTU Act’s passage. No one on the call could have predicted we were just weeks away from seeing included in an epic COVID relief package. In full disclosure, I expected more of what this industry has endured for over a decade; hearty enthusiasm and support from the bill’s longtime supporters and dismissal or lack of interest from almost everyone else.

Instead, the residential component of the BTU Act was included in a massive, once-in-a-lifetime federal spending package and the country, and our industry wait and wonder if President Trump will sign it.

All of this feels so very 2020. 

So, what happens now? Let’s assume that the language remains in the bill and President Trump signs. I think Charlie Niebling, quoted extensively in the news story authored by Biomass Magazine’s Erin Voegele (see Industry News section) probably has it right. After a decade of policy advocacy, the PFI and our partners in the wood heat sector will have to change gears and begin the work of making consumers aware of the tax credit and how it works. The BTU Act won’t result in even one additional pellet appliance sale if consumers aren’t aware it exists. That effort will be left to wood pellet manufacturers, appliance manufacturers, hearth retailers and the associations and trade groups that represent them, the PFI included.

Those discussions can wait until after the holidays, but I expect them to begin in earnest shortly after the calendar flips.

Happy Holidays to you and yours. Ours is a good industry and I’m happy and humbled to be a small part of it.

Finally, to anyone who ever made a phone call, walked a House or Senate office building and endured those short, stilted conversations with your elected representatives and their staff, thank you.

Tim Portz 
Executive Director

Photo of the Week:

An Oldie, but a Goodie: This photograph from October of 2019 has run before, but considering the news of the week I just had to include it. On a comfortable autumn day our board and some members educated their elected representatives about our sector, its contributions to the forest products sector and rural economies and the impact that the passage of the BTU Act would have. 

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 million 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

Biden to nominate Regan as EPA administrator (Biomass Magazine)

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce Michael Regan as his nominee to serve as administrator of the U.S EPA. Representatives of the biofuels industry are expressing hope that Regan will bring a change in philosophy to the agency.

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute

[email protected] | (206) 209-5277 |