I’ve just finished updating the Fuel Comparison Chart at my alternative heating site and corn is once again the least expensive fuel. Even at its all time high of $7.60 a bushel at the end of June, it was still less expensive than all other fuel types.Since then the price has retreated to $5.42/bushel or $12.10 to produce 1 MM (million) Btu of heat. (The cost to produce 1 MM Btu of heat from any given fuel is useful as an “apples to apples” method of comparing fuel prices).Based on today’s prices, $1 of fuel corn provides the same amount of heat as $2.25 of heating oil.The price for a ton of wood pellets has risen 10% since the Summer ’08 Update and now averages $299/ton, or $18.69 per 1MM Btu. The reason behind the increase is a shrinking supply of sawdust (the raw material for wood pellets) due to the slowdown in new home construction. Also, some manufacturers of wood pellets report having to send their trucks as far as 400 miles to retrieve raw material contributing further to rising costs.Despite the recent increase, wood pellets are still 30% less expensive to heat with than oil.A cord of seasoned… Read full this story
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