Armstrong plant stops bagging heater pellets, retailers search for alternatives

Pinnacle Renewable Energy still selling pellets by the ton but won’t make 40 lb. bags

Shuswap residents who rely on pellet stoves may have to change what they heat their homes with this winter.

Pinnacle Renewable Energy, which has a location Armstrong, will no longer be selling the heating pellets in 40-lb. bags.

Tara Sadler, a territory sales manager with Pinnacle, said bagging is being discontinued indefinitely due to a mechanical breakdown and safety concerns with bagging machinery. She said pellets will still be for sale in one metric tonne totes.

Sadler said the totes use less plastic than the bagged product, and that the totes themselves are recyclable and can be repurposed for other uses. She said outdoor storage is not recommended for the totes of heater pellets.

Brad DeMille, owner of DeMille’s Farm Market in Salmon Arm, sells Pinnacle pellets and is forecasting a shortage for the upcoming winter with Pinnacle no longer selling the 40 lb. bags.

Read More: North Shuswap man reports waking up to find chainsaw at neck

Read More: Chase RCMP seek man, woman wanted on separate charges

DeMille said many of his customers who buy the pellets depend on them for heat as they are off the natural gas grid. He recommended those customers reliant on the heating pellets be well organized and buy ahead of the first cold snap.

There are alternative sources for bagged pellets, but DeMille said shipping costs are a barrier and purchasing from an American source, rather than supporting the B.C. forestry industry, is not appealing to him.

DeMille also expressed concerns with storage options for pellets purchased in bulk as they become unusable if exposed to too much moisture.

Read more: Slow start to B.C. wildfire season saves the Province money

Read more: Port Alberni fights bad reputation in international media amid manhunt for wanted teens

Salmon Arm’s Home Hardware location is also anticipating a crunch resulting from no more bagged pellets coming out of the Armstrong facility. Contract sales manager Bob Eckland said the bagged pellets from Pinnacle will be missed by some of his clients due to their cheaper price point and some customers’ preference for pellets made from fir over other wood.

“I got three trucks to start the year, it won’t be enough. It could be some problems down the road – I’m sure it’s going to be,” Eckland said.

He expects the first major cold snap will put a major dent in the 3,000 bag supply of Pinnacle pellets Home Hardware has in stock.

Read More: B.C. fugitives believed to still be in northern Manitoba, 3 days after last sighting

Read More: Update: Highway 1 reopen following collision at 97B intersection

Eckland said he has always preferred to buy from a local supplier. The other variety of bagged heater pellets Home Hardware stocks, Clean Burn, ships from Washington State. Eckland added Home Hardware sells the American pellets for $1 more per bag.

He said it is unlikely Home Hardware will be able to stock the one-ton totes, but they could order one in for customers who don’t want to stop using Pinnacle’s pellets.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Field trip inspires Salmon Arm student to recreate art exhibit in Minecraft

Grade 5 student makes a model of The Little Lake exhibit at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery

Salmon Arm orchard working with Interior Health after apple juice recall

Health inspection report raises concerns with hygiene, sanitation, improper attire

Salmon Arm women bring soccer to girls in Kenyan village

Cultural disconnections melt away with learning and laughter

Vandals on ATV damage outdoor skating rink in Silver Creek

Damage delays preparations for ice surface in community park

Letter: Spouse of Shuswap first responder shares challenges, gratitude

One in three first responders suffer in silence, resources available to help them and their families

Get your head out of clouds, North Okanagan

Fall fog sticks around all day in northern portion of valley

Penticton woman remembered as ‘kind and caring’

Lynn Kalmring’s life was one of caring and campassion for others as a person and as a nurse

Highway 97 in Lake Country reopens after police incident near Airport Inn

Traffic was backed up on the highway for several hours

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Shuswap farm receives award for high animal welfare standards

Keenan Family Farms also recognized for sustainable agriculture methods

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read