Wood pellet shortage means no heat for some | TheUnion.com

Wood pellet shortage means no heat for some

Desperate people who want to keep their homes warm during the coldest week of the year can’t find wood pellets for their stoves.

Every dealership in town is out of wood pellets and the soonest shipment won’t come until this weekend.

The shortage, is a nationwide problem caused by a slow down in the building trade and subsequently the scrap by-products used to manufacture pellets. The problem was compounded last year when rising propane heating costs lead to an increase in pellet stove sales.

“The demand is greater than the supply right now,” said Tom Janousek, co-owner of B&C Hardware which ran out of pellets last week and has no delivery date yet from suppliers.

The shortage comes at a time when residents are experiencing freezing temperatures.

At Foxfire, 22 tons of pellets were delivered on January 8 and sold out by January 10. Two more loads are expected soon.

Ridge Feed has been out for two weeks and says desperate people have come from as far away as Reno looking for pellets. The bulletin board is covered with sticky notes of area dealers and updated regularly.

SPD’s average winter week allotment of four pallets of pellets a week was cut back to one pallet of 50 bags per week. The grocery store has been selling out in less than 24 hours and managers say they are considering rationing bags.

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