September 16, 2016

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Changes to PFI Standards Program's Quality Mark Labels

PFI's Standards Program has recently made private labeling provisions for issuing additional registration numbers to qualified producers who are selling wood pellets to retailers or distributors who prefer not to list the producer.

As part of the Pellet Fuels Institute's Standards Program, a registration number is issued to each qualifying pellet fuel manufacturer. The registration number, along with the production facility information, is published on the PFI website, which provides a complete list of all production facilities qualified under the program. It was originally intended that only one registration number would be issued to each manufacturing facility; however, it was not anticipated that this would result in issues for retailers or distributors who sell wood pellets under their own private label. PFI's Standards Program has recently made provisions for issuing additional registration numbers to qualified producers who are selling wood pellets to retailers or distributors who require anonymity on behalf of the producer.

Please visit Pellet Mill Magazine to read an op-ed by Timber Products Inspection's Chris Wiberg explaining the labeling changes. 

Fall Policy Review

As Congress returns for a brief fall session before the elections, PFI remains focused on three key areas:

  1. Thermal Parity: Provisions adding "thermal energy" as a pathway for federal agencies and departments to use in meeting their renewable energy goals. Currently, the federal renewable energy purchase requirement codified by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 only allows federal entities to count renewable electricity toward their targets. We worked hard with our brethren in the solar and geothermal sectors to include language qualifying renewable thermal energy as a compliance option in both the Senate and House-passed versions. We are confident that any package that is sent to the President will include this provision. 
  2. Biomass: Language is included in the Senate-passed measure which would direct EPA, USDA and DOE to set up a process whereby sustainably-sourced, forest-based biomass energy would be considered carbon neutral in air quality and/or energy-related rulemakings or policy. We are working the conference process with our allies in the biomass energy space to: 1. Make sure a biomass directive makes it into any final conference package; and 2. Strengthen this language if possible to more closely resemble language in the Senate Interior Appropriations bill.   
  3. BTU Act: We also remain hopeful that the BTU Act provisions will be included in any year end tax extenders/spending bill will hit overdrive this fall.  

Visit PFI's Website to View Past Webinars

PFI has made its past webinars on the Standards Program publicly available on the front page of its website. The webinars contain valuable information for retailers, pellet producers and consumers on the PFI Standards Program - how to join, how to identify pellets from qualified producers, and why PFI chose to implement this important program.

These webinars were previously posted in the members' section behind a password. We encourage you to share them widely with retailers and other contacts to inform new audiences about the PFI Standards Program.

Please visit PFI's website to view the webinars. 


Register for Heating the Midwest

The 2016 Heating the Midwest conference is taking place October 11- 13 in the Upper Peninsula's Harris, Michigan. 

Established in 2011, Heating the Midwest represents more than 200 industry, government, non-profit, university and tribal organizations committed to increasing awareness, education and outreach for heating with biomass in the Midwest. We promote thermal biomass to a large constituency, including government policy makers and entities, institutions, municipalities, businesses and consumers. 

2016 is shaping up to be a great conference and we are hoping you are able to participate!


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 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 website for more information.

Host an Event for Bioenergy Day 2016, Taking Place October 19

October 19, 2016, marks the Fourth Annual Bioenergy Day! Many pellet fuels manufacturers are planning facility tours and other events to emphasize the many economic and environmental benefits of bioenergy to elected officials, customers, the media and other stakeholders.

We urge anyone interested in building ties to their communities to consider hosting a Bioenergy Day event, either on your own or jointly with other bioenergy businesses or supporters in your region.  There are many resources available to help you plan, including a Participation Guide on the Bioenergy Day website. Previous participants are also willing to share best practices, lessons learned, and other tips to ensure a smooth and successful event. 

Thanks to many sponsors, including the U.S. Forest Service, and participants, Bioenergy Day has grown each year. Organizations across the country have engaged their communities on bioenergy, earning dozens of media stories and helping more people understand bioenergy. State and local governments, elected officials, universities and businesses have all recognized bioenergy in its many forms. Biomass power, domestic and export pellets, biogas, anaerobic digesters, combined heat and power - all of these types of bioenergy are part of Bioenergy Day.

To learn more, visit, or send an email to Carrie Annand at [email protected]


Upcoming Industry Events 

September 26-28, 2016: Asia-Pacific Biomass Energy Technology & Equipment Expo

October 11-13, 2016: Heating the Midwest Conference & Expo

Connect with PFI

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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

Brothers Ramping up Feed, Wood Pellet Mill in Patten
Bangor Daily News
Brothers Adam and Matthew Fronczak sit astride three industries dear to Patten - forestry, farming and milling - and it can make for some scattershot workdays.

On any given day, 48-year-old Matthew might find himself welding a patch onto a conveyer belt in Patten, doing soil tests in Old Town and picking up auto parts in Bangor while 51-year-old Adam calls customers and surveys abandoned farmland off Route 11.

Read the Full Article

The Inside Story of Wood-Pellet Boilers
Bangor Daily News
Biomass boilers burning wood pellets are sophisticated pieces of kit. Oliver Duckworth of Windhager UK gives an insight into their complexity and capabilities.

With a drive for all of us to reduce carbon emissions and install renewable heating systems, biomass is seen as one of the most favourable technologies to make significant carbon savings to both our new-build properties and also to our more carbon-intensive aging housing stock. With the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) up and running for domestic properties now as well as commercial properties there has been a significant increase in the demand for high-quality biomass wood-pellet boilers.

Read the Full Article

The Business End of the Supply Chain
Biomass Magazine
For nearly three years, the team at Pellet Mill Magazine has been looking for the right story about a business that relies on wood pellet revenues to make its operation go around. I'm happy to report that we've finally succeeded, and Ron Kotrba's feature on Monson, Massachusetts-based Squier Lumber tells the story.

While Pellet Mill Magazine has historically trained the vast majority of its editorial gaze on the manufacturing and global distribution of wood pellets, we're well aware that a significant share of the wood pellets produced in North America each year are purchased by individuals to heat their homes, from places like Squier Lumber.

Read the Full Article

What Next for the Atlantic Pellet Market
Biomass Magazine
Following expectations of optimistic growth in the European industrial pellet market in recent years, the industry mood has since cooled. Many independent pellet project developers have been left disappointed and have abandoned projects as a result, while some existing smaller producers are starting to feel the pressure. Demand development largely stalled in 2015 and 2016, with investment decisions being delayed.  On the other hand, new pellet mill capacity continued and continues to come online, such as the two 450,000-metric-ton mills operated by Drax Power and the 450,000-metric-ton mill operated by The Navigator Company group.

Read the Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 703.522.6778