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October, 2022

Homes Plus

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HOME OCTOBER 2022 8 (StatePoint) — Between the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sky-high oil and gas prices, a significant pellet fuel supply shortage is likely this winter season. Industry experts say you should plan ahead and secure your fuel now for the cold winter months. The good news is that, currently, there is plenty of supply to stock up. As Tim Portz, executive director of the Pellet Fuels Institute explains, Russia is the second largest producer of wood pel- lets globally, supplying more than 2 million tons to global markets in 2020. But sanc- tions and restrictions due to the invasion of Ukraine have required U.S. pellet pro- ducers to fill the gap. What's more, the sticker shock Ameri- cans may experience this winter when reviewing their energy bills will likely have many switching to pellet heating in search of a better deal, and those with multiple heating options may start opting for pellets, putting extra demand on poten- tially short supplies. "Wood pellet demand fluctuates year to year, however with heating oil, natural gas, electric and propane prices at near his- toric highs, we could see record sales of pellets in 2022-2023," says Portz. "Con- sumers will need to be savvy. To ensure their annual supply is secured, they should stock up now." Wood pellets are used as primary or sec- ondary space heat in more than 1 million homes nationwide. Pellets are a renewable, clean-burning fuel made from the waste streams generated by the manufacturers of products like dimensional lumber, hard- wood flooring, wood pallets and cabinetry. Although supplies are strong right now, pellet producers are highlighting the importance of keeping inventory moving through the system. With the capacity to produce more than 1 million tons of wood pellets each year, Lignetics Group, the largest residential wood pellet manufacturing company in the United States, notes that taking advantage of the surplus while it lasts will allow pro- ducers to run at full throttle and build inventory before usage begins to outpace production in the depths of winter. Because pellets are competitively priced nationwide, consumers who opt for this method of heating will save hundreds of dollars over the course of a winter season compared to heating oil or propane, and thousands of dollars compared to electric heat. "Many have already turned to wood pel- let heating and many more are expected to do so amid the current energy crisis," says Brett Jordan, CEO of Lignetics Group. "However, these consumers will need to take their wise choice a step further by being prepared. Fueling up now on your normal pellet supply will mean being able to take advantage of this sustainable and cost-efficient option all winter." Why you should plan ahead this heating season (c) Srecko Stipovic / iStock via Getty Images Plus Expect heating to be more expensive this winter as the war in Ukraine continues to put pres- sure on the global fuel market. One option to consider is wood pellets, which can be used as a primary or secondary heating source.

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