Benefits of Pellets

There are numerous benefits achieved by utilizing pellet fuel, including economical and environmental.  Pellet fuel is utilized in a varied settings and applications, such as home heating appliances and large scale boilers in commercial operations.

There are an estimated 1,000,000 residences/businesses in the U.S. currently heating with pellets.

  • A typical homeowner uses 3 tons of pellets per heating season at a cost of about $825. At an average retail price of $250/ton, pellets offer a fuel cost per million BTU of $19.05.  To offer a fuel cost of $19.05 per million BTU, # 2 fuel oil and propane would have to be priced at $2.05/gal and $1.36/gal, respectively!  (Fuel Value Calculator, USFS, 2008)
  • One ton of wood pellets has the energy equivalency of 2.8 barrels of #2 fuel oil. (Energy Information Administration)
  • Direct thermal conversion of 3 million tons of wood pellets displaces the equivalent of almost 8.5 million barrels of #2 fuel oil. That is 356 million gallons!  (Energy Information Administration)
  • Direct thermal conversion of pellets has an efficiency level of approximately 80%.
  • Pellet stoves have extremely low particulate emissions due to their high burn efficiency and the density of the fuel (<1 gm/hr). (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Every ton of pellets used vs. oil reduces CO2 emissions by about 1.5 tons.  Total emissions offset this year will be nearly 4.5 million tons of CO2.
  • Pellet distribution costs less than the cost of distributing wood chips.
  • Wood pellets have a fossil energy ratio (net energy output/fossil energy used) of 12:1.   (Net Energy Value Study, University of Wisconsin Green Bay)
  • As of 2009, pellet manufacturing directly employs approximately 2,300 people in the U.S. and supports thousands of industry-related jobs in fields such as transportation and logging.  (North America’s Wood Pellet Sector, Spelter & Toth, 2009)

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