Sunday, June 08, 2008

Wood Pellet Price Comment


Maybe Its Just the Way Its Phrased

Normally I just publish most comments as they come - unless they are either a bit silly or somewhat discourteous in tone. Here is an example of one which appears to come close to fitting into both of those categories.

So why the heck have I published it then? Well to be honest, it gives me an excuse for a bit of a rant and you regular readers all know how I love/need the odd rant. As well I get to answering back!

Jopin has left a new comment on your post "Wood Pellets Cost More than Oil":

With all due respect, my friend, ( I am not your friend, at least not yet - and that type of opening address generally implies anything but respect) these conclusions are flat out WRONG. (no doubt you base your assertion on your research - can you quote some of your research?) I heated my house last winter with wood pellets, and it cost 20% of what propane would have cost. (Propane is not a good comparison - but you offer nothing much to support your assertion in any case)

I know, you were discussing heating oil, fair enough. So maybe I can't really compare propane with oil. ( Ah!!! so - you cottoned-on!)

The other thing is that wood pellet prices do not change/increase as drastically as oil and gas. And, they are cheaper in the summer! (Stock up then!) (Oh really - I am so glad that you have found this to be the case. It is most certainly not the case in Ireland - where I live, and from where I base my perspective. Additionally in Ireland you dare not "stock up" on wood pellets for any length of time, unless you have the correct ultra dry storage facilities. This is because there is a big risk that they will turn back into the sawdust from which they are made. The reason this danger exists is because Ireland has a VERY damp climate, and if there is even the tiniest break in the integrity of the plastic bag, damp will seep in and the pellets will become a problem if not useless)

FYI, I did not buy in bulk either. I paid per-bag prices. Also, my wood pellet stove paid for itself in one winter! Future winters are just huge bonuses. (not in Ireland would a wood pellet stove pay for itself even in six winters at the prices they want here)

And, which fuel supply will run out first? (wood pellets ran out last year and oil did not - if oil runs out any time soon, how do you imagine they will manufacture or transport wood pellets?)

Maybe the difference is with the countries in which we live? Not sure. I'm in the North Eastern US.

(I live in Ireland - and my figures are based on REAL prices published by the sellers. I support my assertion with quoted figures. The price of wood pellets is escalating close enough to the rate of oil price increases, but with a little time lag. So far, it has followed faithfully, like a dog it's master. But I will apply my most trusted scientific principle - WAS - wait - and - see, keeping an open mind)


1 comment:

Kevin said...

Tony, I tend to agree with your analysis of wood pellets and the price oddly following the price of oil and other heating fuels. Here in the Western U.S. the BTU cost of wood pellets and the BTU cost of Natural Gas (primary heating fuel here) is almost eactly the same on a BTU basis. If your intent as a consumer is to reduce your carbon foot print on the planet then wood pellets are a good choice for a variety of reasons. If your intent as a consumer is to use a lower cost fuel, burning sorted rubish would be a better alternative.

Kevin Caldwell, Salem Oregon