Everyone is painfully aware of the price of oil these days. At the time of this writing, home heating oil is $4.70 a gallon in Downeast Maine, and that dear reader, translates into $1292 to fill a 275 gallon tank. Ouch.
I have been a fan of pellet stoves since I installed my first one in 1994. They are neat, efficient and blow some serious hot air.
When my first stove died, I immediately replaced it. There was no way I was going to be without a pellet stove, especially when oil was a dollar and change a gallon!
My home was on the market and I specified the pellet stove was not part of the purchase price. I planned to take that bad boy with me to Downeast Maine. Everyone who looked at the house wanted the stove too and the serious buyer I had on the hook wasn’t taking “no” for an answer.
We battled back and forth, the buyers would back out (all because of a pellet stove?) and the same buyers would return again. It was a vicious cycle.
“You’re being stubborn,” my sister told me over cocktails one afternoon on the front porch, “don’t let this keep you from your dream.”
My dream was to move to Downeast Maine and live happily ever after.
I relented, the house went under contract and I went house hunting Downeast. I planned to replace the pellet stove the buyer swindled me out of just as soon as I chose my new home.
I found the house I couldn’t live without and promptly began the process of hunting down a new pellet stove.
I located a phone book (the phone book here covers the entire county and measures precisely 1/4″ thick) and began dialing businesses that were likely to carry the supplies I would need. No such luck. Buying a stove locally wasn’t going to happen but I wasn’t deterred; I would buy one and lug it in the back of the moving van all the way Downeast.
While I had the helpful Downeast store clerks on the line, I inquired if the store carried wood pellets.
“Sure, deah, how many bags would you like?”
“Bags? No, no, I’m talking tons,” I said.
“Tons?” (they would always chuckle at that point) “No, I’m afraid there’s no call for that many pellets around heah.”
I gave up the ghost, so to speak, and moved Downeast, sans pellet stove.
The price of oil climbed. $2.75, $3.05, $3.95, and on and on until it’s where it’s at today.
I was reading the local newspaper, it may interest you to know the paper comes out twice a month here, (no kidding) when I noticed an advertisement which stated a local oil company would begin carrying pellet stoves.
I was on the phone quicker than you can say “price gouging”, because where there’s pellet stoves, there’s pellets.
I am once again the proud owner of a pellet stove with pellets prepaid for the coming winter. It’s amazing the difference $4.70 a gallon makes. Pellet stoves are backordered to September from what I understand, and there are plans (in the early stages) for a company to manufacture wood pellets in Washington County.
More local jobs, cheaper heat, what’s not to love?