LiviosThese are busy days for producers and sellers of wood pellets. They can hardly keep up with the demand for these pressed wood pellets. However, the pellets have risen significantly in price since January. You sometimes come across cheaper wood pellets via the internet. But are they of the same quality and just as environmentally friendly? Construction site Livios asked Pierre Martin, Secretary General of FEBHEL, the Belgian Interprofessional Federation of Wood Energy.
By Gianni D’Angelo, in collaboration with Livios
“A 15 kg bag of wood pellets – small pellets made from chips, sawdust or other untreated wood waste – currently costs between 8 and 10 euros,” says Pierre Martin. “Compared to January, the price has increased by 50% for pellets in bulk and by 70% for pellets in 15 kg bags. This is exceptional, because in principle the price decreases after the winter and then increases again during the following winter. But this year, prices have continued to rise since the winter of 2021-2022.”
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Greater demand for pellet stoves
“There are several reasons for this continued price increase,” says Pierre Martin. “Gas, fuel oil and electricity have become significantly more expensive. That scared people. As a result, many have chosen to fire with wood pellets. In Europe, sales of pellet stoves have increased by about 20% in 2021 and by another 20% (for the time being) in 2022.”
“After all, there has been less sawdust available since the end of 2021. As demand has suddenly skyrocketed since the end of 2021, sellers are facing supply problems and local manufacturers are dealing with a shortage of raw materials. Because you don’t just have the new users of pellets: even those who previously burned with pellets have obtained supplies faster and more widely than usual. In addition, transport, packaging and pallet prices have increased. Those pallets are needed to transport the bags of wood pellets. You also need quite a lot of electricity to make pellets, which also contributes to the price increase.”
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Up to 1,372 euros extra per year
If you use a pellet stove for additional heating or to heat a room, you need about 1.5 to 2 tons of wood pellets per year. Anyone who has a pellet boiler as central heating for the entire house burns approximately 3.5 to 5 tons of pellets annually. Although consumption also largely depends on how severe the winter is.
If you assume that a 15 kg bag costs a maximum of 10 euros, this means an annual maximum cost of approximately 1,333 euros (2 tons) and 3,333 euros (5 tons). If we take into account a price increase of 70%, you paid 784 euros (2 tons) and 1,961 euros (5 tons) at the end of last year. So you now pay 549 euros (2 tons) to 1,372 euros (5 tons) more than last year.
“People who have a pellet boiler usually buy pellets in bulk, which is about 5 to 10% cheaper than per 15 kg bag. And even though pellets have become more expensive, they are still more economically interesting than, for example, gas, electricity and heating oil,” explains Martin.
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If you find pellets on the internet that are considerably cheaper than the ones in the store in your area, there is a good chance that it is a scam. So be vigilant!
Pierre Martin, Secretary General of FEBHEL
Scammers on the Internet
“Wood pallets are available on the internet that are considerably cheaper. Be careful with that. Many fraudsters and scammers pretend to be pellet sellers online, but are anything but. Sometimes they impersonate someone else and use the name of authorized sellers and producers.”
ENplus and DINplus certified
Pierre Martin recommends buying certified pellets. They carry either the European quality certificate ENplus or the German-French-Belgian quality certificate DINplus. “But of course there are also legal, non-certified pellets on the market. These pellets are then often less dry and hard. They burn faster and produce more dust, which means that combustion does not take place properly and the boiler can become clogged. In any case, pellets that you can buy locally in the store are in principle certified. The recognized Belgian producers are also certified.”
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This article was written by our partner Livios.be. Livios.be is an expert site that focuses on construction and renovation.
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