Wood pellet shortage hits Nova Scotia

The cold winter fuelled a mad dash for wood pellets on sale in Lower Sackville, N.S., on Tuesday.

Some people burning 3 bags a day during cold snap

People are lining up for wood pellets in Halifax, but there's a ration. 0:44

The cold winter fuelled a mad dash for wood pellets on sale in Lower Sackville, N.S., on Tuesday.   

The pellets are in short supply all over the province. The supply at Payzants Home Hardware sold out in a few hours. Each customer could buy only ten bags.

People came from as far away as Musquodoboit to get the fuel.

Some use wood pellet stoves to complement their oil or electric home heating system. Others, like Linda Forsythe, rely totally on wood pellets.

"I've been heating my home since the early 1990s with wood pellet stoves," she said. "I burn six tonnes a year. Right now with this extreme temperature I'm burning three bags a day."

Payzants expects its next supply of wood pellets to arrive next week. 

Eastern Embers, a leading producer of wood pellets in Atlantic Canada, says demand exceeds supply this winter. The company produces pellets 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but can't meet the need. 

"More than 95 per cent of this year’s pellet production from our Nova Scotia plant has remained in the Atlantic region," said spokeswoman Maureen Reid.

"We are investigating all of our options to meet additional demand with channel partners, our raw material suppliers and our employees."

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