Report: A switch to pellet heat in NW would drop cost, create jobs

By Staff | January 30, 2014

An analysis completed by FutureMetrics Inc. determined that if the 6 million homes in the rural areas of the Northeast that currently use fuel oil or propane as heating fuel convert to pellets, the resulting economic impact would create approximately 1.34 million jobs. 

In the report, titled “How the Northern States can Heat with Renewable Energy and Create Jobs and Economic Growth while Significantly Lowering Carbon Emissions,” author William Strauss points out that only about 19 percent heating oil refined in the U.S. for Northeast markets is made from oil extracted in the U.S. As a result, much of the money spent on heating oil leaves the country. 

Locally produced pellet fuel, however, keeps almost 100 percent of every dollar spent circulating locally. The report also stresses that pellet fuel is about half the price of heating oil for the same heating energy and the supply chain for harvesting sustainable biomass and manufacturing and distributing pellets creates U.S. jobs.