Pellet Stove Sales Trends
According to HPBA, sales of freestanding pellet stoves and pellet stove
inserts in 2013* increased by 12% to 54,055 units in the United States. This
is great news because it's another indication of a stronger housing industry.
To our north in Canada, where a housing boom has cooled off, pellet stove
sales decreased 9% to 5,290 units.
Slightly more than a third of pellet stove owners state it is their primary heat
source while the remainder use their pellet stove or fireplace insert as a
supplementary heat source in conjunction with lowering the main thermostat.
Wood Pellet Prices and Supply
There is shortage of wood pellets as we begin this heating season. I wouldn't
call it critical, but it has caused prices to jump a bit - especially in the Midwest.
The reasons for the crimp in supply are threefold. First, the Polar Vortex
plunged temperatures to abnormally low levels. Second, late in the season
rains in the Midwest required farmers to burn excessive amounts of fuel to
dry their crops. Third, good old fashioned hoarding.
Prices for wood pellets increased the most in the Midwest; jumping from
$200 to around $250 a ton. But even at $250 a ton, they're still $30 a ton
cheaper than what homeowners in the Northeast are used to paying.
The average cost for a ton of premium wood pellets (less than 1% ash) for
the 2014/15 heating season remains at $279/ton - the equivalent of paying
$2.46 a gallon for heating oil, and only 7% more expensive than heating with
Bulk and Bagged Fuel Corn Prices
The price for bulk and bagged corn fuel has moderated quite a bit from last
season. The price of bulk corn has decreased 16% to $225 a ton in the
Midwest and is just under $300/ton in the Northeast. Bagged corn has not
seen a decline in price and remains around $300 per ton (50 bags @ 40 lbs).
To see how the cost to heat with corn compares to wood pellets, visit our
Fuel Comparison Chart.
Pellet Stove - Pellet Stove Insert Prices
The prices for pellet stoves and inserts have barely budged this year with a
good selection of utility type stoves starting around $1,300. More decorative
models with brass or nickel trim, bay windows, and glass air wash systems
are still bargain priced at $2,500 - $3,200.
*Most recent year available.
Wood Pellet Stoves | Corn Stoves
Biomass Heater Tax Credits
The Biomass Tax Credit was not renewed by Congress for 2014 nor is it likely
to be reinstated in 2015. However, state sponsored tax incentives and low
interest loans are still available, and in many cases are more generous than
the $300 maximum offered by the federal tax incentive program.
For example, Connecticut and Maine offer low interest loans while Idaho
residents can take advantage of a 60% tax deduction spread out over two
You can find out what your state has to offer by downloading this PDF from
Hearth, Patio & Barbacue Assoc. (Note: The links don't work, but you can
copy and paste them into your browser's address bar.