Home heating fuels are expected to reach record levels this winter, with the change in the Midwest more pronounced than other regions of the country. Compared with last winter, Midwest households will spend 68% more for propane, 43% more for home heating oil, 48% more for natural gas and 4.9% more for electric heating, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its October 2021 report. Natural gas, the most common fuel used to heat homes, has surged to prices unseen since 2008.
Government tax credits lowers cost of wood-pellet burning stoves in 2021 and 2022
Fortunately, homeowners concerned about the escalating price of oil and gas do have an alternative: wood-pellet burning heat. For homeowners with whole home central heating systems, a space heating stove can dramatically reduce heating costs and generate a simple payback of two or three years based on current and projected heat costs. Government incentive programs are sweetening the pot, offering consumers a 26% credit toward the purchase and installation of a wood-burning stove in 2021 or 2022, driving the actual costs of the stoves to the lowest price in years.
“This year has been overwhelming to say the least, I’ve never seen anything like it in terms of pellet appliance sales,” said Stan Wiedeman of Wiedeman’s in Batesville, Indiana. “Pellet stoves are our best sellers, and that’s even before the customer learns about the government incentive program.”
Wood heating systems don’t have to be a hassle
Gone are the days of collecting, drying and feeding wood into a wood stove. “Older homeowners may no longer be physically able to gather wood from nearby property, while younger families may not have the time to process cords of wood for fuel,” said Chad Schrock, CEO of Fiber By-Products, a wood-pellet manufacturer in White Pigeon, Mich. “Bagged wood pellets, made from wood waste by-product, now make the job easier for homeowners seeking a more efficient and environmentally friendly wood fuel source.”
Bagged wood pellets are cost-effective way to heat home
Bagged wood pellet heat is 30% less costly than oil heat and 67% less costly than propane heat and can be purchased at hearth-and-home dealers throughout rural Midwest areas. The average wood-pellet stove uses about three tons of pellets per season at approximately $250 per ton, depending on stove efficiency and home insulation levels, making wood pellets one of the lowest cost fuel sources by volume.
Wood pellets, including ProPellet and Magic Spark by Beringea U.S. portfolio company Fiber By-Products (pictured), are available at Tractor Supply, Family Farm and Home, and local hearth-and-home dealers. Consumers can find more information at www.fiberby-products.com.