Now It's Wood Pellet Shortage in U.P. of Michigan

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DennisH
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 5:15 am

First it was the propane shortage, that is still going on, now there's a shortage of wood pellets for pellet burning stoves/furnaces. People I know in the Escanaba area are having to go as far away as Green Bay to get any pellets. Am I ever glad I heat with bagged anthracite coal!! At least I can store it outside and don't have to worry about it getting wet.

Jfreethy
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 5:28 am

We are having pellet shortages in the North East too. It is not as severe but if retailers have them for sale they more than likely are limiting customers. Hence we wanted to go coal ...

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Lightning
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 6:02 am

Several years ago there was a wood pellet shortage while I used them for primary heat. The only ones available were from Canada and cost over $7 per 40 pound bag. I think that works out to $350 a ton? They would only sell 10 bags at a time.

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titleist1
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 8:04 am

Yes, its more widespread than MI. I poke my head in at hearth every once in a while to see if there are any coal discussions and there are many posts from all over indicating people are scrambling to get bags of pellets and when stores do get them in they are limiting purchases. Long term storage on site could be a problem compared with coal.

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Carbon12
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 8:08 am

I wonder how the auto coal ignition system is selling? I also wonder if we'll ever see a big box store selling coal stoves. If that ever happens, people might be more willing to give coal a shot. Pretty much as easy to use as pellets and heats much better. Still don't know why the public has embraced pellet stoves but turn their noses up at coal stoves. Ignorance of the facts, I guess.


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Lightning
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 8:16 am

That's ok though. As long as its taught that coal is a dirty polluting source of energy. I think coal will remain stable and there will only be a small niche of us coal burners... :D

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Carbon12
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 8:17 am

So true! :D

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Sting
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 8:22 am

I have stored bagged pellet fuel for over two years with no drama..

Its best not to leave it outside - but even that works for many months

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titleist1
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 8:27 am

titleist1 wrote:Long term storage on site could be a problem compared with coal
Sting wrote:I have stored bagged pellet fuel for over two years with no drama..

Its best not to leave it outside - but even that works for many months
It Depends...... ;)

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Lightning
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 8:28 am

I agree pellets can be stored for a long time under the right conditions. But gotta have those right conditions... :)


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michaelanthony
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 9:06 am

From Michigan to Maine!...gottah' put in 10 lbs. of coal, it's mild out this morning! :)

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/02/20/business/bi ... l-pellets/

Lu47Dan
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 11:22 am

I do not know about around here, but I told a friend of mine last spring to stock up on pellets for his stove. As I thought we were going to have a rough winter this year. He thought I was crazy.
He found a craigslist add for 3ton of pellets and a stove for $500 dollars, he did not need the stove but bought it anyway. He sold the stove in October for $900.
He has dry storage for his pellets, so he started buying 10 bags a week and adding them to his stock. The last I talked to him in January he still had a good inventory of pellets but will start buying 10 bags a week in the spring again. He said he was happy to get the 3ton for free and adding 10 bags a week will keep him supplied for a long time. He did say that that they are on their first tank of oil this year.
Dan.

steveyrock
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Post Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 4:25 pm

Carbon12 wrote:I wonder how the auto coal ignition system is selling? I also wonder if we'll ever see a big box store selling coal stoves. If that ever happens, people might be more willing to give coal a shot. Pretty much as easy to use as pellets and heats much better. Still don't know why the public has embraced pellet stoves but turn their noses up at coal stoves. Ignorance of the facts, I guess.
I myself am not convinced coal will always be economical hedge against more costly fuels.There is tremendous pressure by powerful factions to stop coal usage and they use the EPA and MSHA to enforce ever increasing laws.This costs a lot of money in fines imposed and upgrades to stay in compliance for the smaller anthracite mine owners.Sure we can get coal now but can we afford to loose say a third of the anthracite mines or breakers to the government squeeze at some point in the future?

I saw obama get elected for a second term when I thought he wouldn't and I saw him pull off the affordable care act when I thought he couldn't among other things like breaking laws to get what he wants.Who stopped HIM? Who will stop THEM? from doing what ever they dam well please?

What happens when more people use coal, demand goes up and when demand out paces whats produced we better have a plan.Yes we can get enough coal now but I am not banking on it being such a value in the future.I hope it is but who knows?

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DennisH
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Post Fri. Feb. 21, 2014 8:29 am

Before I moved to the Upper Peninsula we had a pellet insert in a lower level of our tri-level house. Worked well enough if the temps were above freezing. I remember the year that there was a pellet shortage and $7 per 40# bag. I started burning a 80/20 mix of dried corn and pellets to stretch things. Now that I burn coal I will not go back to pellets, simply because the pellets can never match the heat output of coal. That and the storage issue. If your bags get wet or the humidity is too high, you get bags of clumps. There aren't too many coal burners in my area, and those who heat with propane, pellets, even wood in some cases are all scrambling. This is he worst heating season that even many of the old timers can remember. People thought/think I'm crazy for stockpiling and burning coal, but I just smile politely. Thermostat settings are a non-issue in my house. :D

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