Pellet Wire

 The Pellet Fuels Institute's Weekly E-Newsletter

PFI Update: Speaker Abstracts Solicited; 2015 Government Affairs Agenda

January 23, 2015

Breakfast & Biomass: Sign Up Today!

If you haven’t registered for Breakfast & Biomass, what are you waiting for? It is the place at HPBExpo where all of the pellet industry meets for networking and to learn more about the topics that are abuzz within the pellet sector.

What: Breakfast & Biomass: A Briefing on the Pellet Market

When: Friday, March 6, 7:30am

Where: Music City Center, Nashville, TN

Why: Click here to view the Agenda 

Advance registration is required, and all attendees must be registered attendees of HPBExpo.

Thank You to our Breakfast & Biomass Sponsors:


Interested in being a sponsor of Breakfast & Biomass? Please contact PFI staff at [email protected]

PFI Annual Conference: Call for Speaker Abstracts

Thanks to each of you who submitted your ideas for topics to be covered at the 2015 PFI Annual Conference. The PFI Conference Committee has compiled your ideas into six categories, for which we are now seeking speakers.

1. The Global Pellet Market (e.g. economic impact, market opportunities in the U.S. and beyond, understanding the global supply chain, global concerns for existing and future pellet manufacturers, etc.)

2. Enhancing Pellet Operations (to include safety practices at the plant, improving specific aspects of production, best practices in operation, developing contracts, etc.)

3. Tools to Support Pellet Producers (technology based or others, e.g. database development and management, preventative maintenance software, safety training tools, etc.)

4. Industry Compliance (e.g. SFI, PERC, or FSC Sustainability; OHSA; PFI Standards; EPA Regulations, etc.)

5. Pellet Marketing and Promotion (e.g. cross industry marketing, grow markets, attracting international interest, improving understanding of biomass, etc.)

6. Open Category (for all proposals outside the scope of the above categories)

Please consider submitting abstract for one or more of the above categories. Learn more here. Deadline to submit an abstract is Friday, February 6. Submit an abstract today!

PFI Government Affairs Update

PFI has finalized its government affairs priorities for 2015, which include seeking a reintroduction of the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act (BTU Act), amending the Energy Policy Act to include biomass thermal, ensuring the inclusion of biomass in federal renewable energy mandates, continuing the pursuit of opportunities to include pellets in portfolios for heating and cooling government facilities, amongst others.

To achieve these and other goals, PFI will continue to work collaboratively with trade groups and federal agencies that focus on densified biomass. Visit the Government Affairs page of the PFI website for more information.

Additionally, over the last week we’ve learned some positive news regarding the BTU Act and potential legislative priorities in the 114th Congress. If you are a member of PFI, you may read about these developments and other policy news items, click here

Finally, as we reported last week, the Energy Information Administration is seeking comment on its proposed survey of densified biomass manufacturers, which as proposed requires manufacturers to submit information to EIA on production, inventory and sales. The PFI Government Affairs Committee is preparing comments on behalf of the association and welcomes your input. You are also encouraged to submit comments to EIA on behalf of your businesses.

Contact PFI Executive Director Jennifer Hedrick if you wish to provide information for the association to consider as it drafts a response or if you have questions related to submitting your comments directly to EIA.

This proposal as written applies to all manufacturers of densified biomass. Be sure to make your voices heard and submit comments on behalf of your businesses by the March 2nd deadline.

In Memoriam: Jon Pennell

We’re sad to report that Jon Pennell, a longtime member of the wood energy industry passed away on January 9th. At the time of his passing, Jon was living in Saratoga Springs, NY, where for many years he ran Pennell’s Hardware. For several years he was a sales representative for Quadra-Fire and Hearth & Home Technologies. Jon was an active member of the Pellet Fuels Institute, having served on the Board of Directors and in other voluntary capacities. Jon is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and three children as well as several grandchildren


Comment period open for Utah proposed seasonal wood burn ban

By Katie Fletcher | January 14, 2015

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality opened a 40-day comment period on Jan. 1 for a proposed seasonal wood burn ban amendment R307-302, which would prohibit seven counties from solid-fuel burning in all solid-fuel burning devices from Nov. 1 to March 15, beginning this November. Banned solid-fuel burning devices include fireplaces, as well as stoves and boilers used for burning wood, coal, pellets or any other nongaseous and non-liquid fuel, both indoors and outdoors. This ban applies to EPA-certified devices, but excludes outdoor wood boilers regulated under R307-208.

To read the full article, click here.

Additionally, we encourage you to visit Utahns for Responsible Burning to learn more.  

PFI Member Dues Renewals

Member dues renewals were circulated in December via email. If you didn't receive an email from us about renewing your dues for 2015, please contact our office at [email protected]

Not a member of PFI? Please contact us to find out how you can benefit from PFI membership. Or you may join now by visiting the PFI website.

Save-The-Date: PFI 2015 Annual Conference 

Save the Date for the 2015 PFI Annual Conference, July 19-21 at the historic Colonial Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, Virginia. 

Conference registration information will be circulated soon.

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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

Tekoa, Darrington schools selected for pilot pellet heat project
WSU News
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Tekoa High School in Whitman County and Darrington Senior/Middle School complex in Snohomish County were both selected to participate in the Wood Pellet Heat in Schools pilot program, helping them trade their fuel oil heating systems for a wood pellet solution as their primary heat source.

During the 2013 legislative session, $500,000 was set aside in the Capital Budget to fund installation of wood pellet boiler systems in two K-12 schools. For the demonstration, supporting legislation required that one school be located in western Washington and one in eastern Washington.

The Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program in partnership with the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) today announced the selection of these two schools...

Read the Full Article

Reports show impact of strong dollar, oil prices on pellet sector

BIOMASS Magazine
Over the past week, FutureMetrics LLC has published two research papers by company President William Strauss; one published Jan. 12 on the impact of the strengthening dollar on utility and producer margins in the industrial pellet sector, and the other on Jan. 14 with three interactive dashboards related to where crude oil prices are going and its impact on pellets used for heating in the domestic market.

According to the first published paper, since most long-term offtake contracts for supply of industrial wood pellets from U.S. producers are paid in dollars, as the pound and euro weaken, the cost per ton in these currencies increases. Some of this currency risk can be hedged, but if the dollar continues to strengthen, as it is suggested it will, the paper indicates this will challenge profit margins.... 

Read the Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 703.522.6778