Armstrong plant stops bagging heater pellets, Shuswap 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.

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

First Things First and Penticton Lakeside Resort hosting environmental all-candidates debate Oct. 15

Ahead of the debate, there will be a round table discussion with the candidates

Final day of racing approaching at the Penticton Speedway

The Halloween finale starts at 2 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Travelling around the world of Penticton’s cuisines with Foodtopia

The 500 block celebrated the variety of restaurants on Main Street with a night of specials.

Parts of KVR Trail becoming dumping ground for stolen vehicles

More vehicles are turning up due to more patrolling, says Const. James Grandy

Hungry can enjoy Thanksgiving meal thanks to Soupateria volunteers

Thanksgiving and Christmas busiest time of year, says volunteer Randy Cranston

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

Letter: Policies need to be put into context

Reader wants to put party policies into the context of money compared to the natural world.

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

Most Read