NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 8, 2014

Cold winter fuels wood pellet shortage

Wood pellet shortages reported at local stores

AMESBURY— Pellet stoves are known to burn cleaner, heat an area more evenly than wood stoves and help reduce winter heating costs from traditional sources like oil and propane. But to do that, stove owners need a source of wood pellets, and finding them lately hasn’t been easy.

“I have a list of 63 people waiting for us to get in our next shipment of wood pellets,” said Kevin Lordan, manager at Amesbury’s Martignetti Enterprises. “I know a lot of businesses who sell wood pellets and nobody has any. Even big stores, like Lowe’s and Home Depot, are out. It’s unreal.”

Lordan said he’s been promised a shipment by his supplier within the next 10 to 12 days, or sooner. He ordered that load three weeks ago, he said, and people keep calling and asking to be put on his list.

“They say, ‘OK, I guess I’ll have to use my oil or propane, but please call me as soon as the you get them in,’ “ Lordan said.

A call to Lowe’s and Home Depot in Seabrook found that Lordan was correct. Neither store had wood pellets currently, although Lowe’s is expecting a shipment next week and advising customers to call to learn when. Home Depot wasn’t as optimistic.

One place in the region still with a daily supply of wood pellets is the “Home and Health” on Route 1 in Hampton Falls. But as word spread, so many people showed up that the backup of cars caused traffic problems on Thursday. To ensure that didn’t happen again, manager Harry Fallon brought in additional staff to handle things so as not to affect local roads.

“I’ve never had so many new customers,” said Fallon, who also sells wood stoves, as well as pellets stoves and pellet central heating units. “We’re still getting our regular daily delivery from our supplier. We’re selling out in about two hours and we’re limiting it to (selling) five bags per customer.”

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