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Page added on October 25, 2005

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Fear of high heating bills prompts run on wood-burning stoves

Consumers worried about high natural gas and home heating oil prices are turning to local wood-burning stove retailers at rates not seen since the energy crisis of the 1970s.

Some dealers are running out of stoves completely, and others are seeing stoves snatched up as soon as deliveries arrive. Even those with inventory are reporting much higher interest in the stoves, which range in price from $800 to several thousand dollars.
Manufacturers of wood pellets, nuggets of compressed sawdust that are burned in some stoves, also are experiencing difficulty keeping up with demand. Don Kaiser, executive director of the Pellet Fuels Institute, an industry trade group based in Arlington, Va., said suppliers will ramp up production by 35 percent in 2006, but he thinks that still might not be enough.

“You can’t change production overnight,” Kaiser said. “I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the fervor for pellets with respect to the price of oil and the affect the hurricanes have had.”

Pittsburgh Business Times



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