Unplugged Energy Independence

Getting gouged by propane prices?

Posted by Kelsey Loeffler on Thu,Jan 30,2014 @ 09:54 AM

alternative heatingGetting gouged by propane prices? If so, you're not alone. Some 14 million Americans who rely on propane have been shelling out more and more to heat their homes while the strong demand has outpaced the already low inventories, energy officials say.

Now is a better time than ever to switch to alternative energy. Free yourself from the rollercoaster of fluctuating fossil fuel prices.

Don't just take our word for it. Here are some recent articles from around the U.S

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Scott Walker declares state of emergency on propane shortage.

Citing another wave of frigid weather bearing down on Wisconsin and dangerously low supplies of propane, Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency. Walker directed all state agencies "to assist as appropriate" in helping residents deal with the propane shortage, which has sent prices soaring and left some users struggling to find a supplier who will provide fuel.

Nearly 250,000 Wisconsin homes heat with propane, many in rural areas not served by natural gas lines.

The shortage — attributed to a colder-than-normal winter, the shutdown of a key supply pipeline earlier in the season and heavy use of propane by farmers to dry grain last fall — has sent prices for many customers well above $5 a gallon. Read the full article here.

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Midwest faces propane emergency as more cold weather moves in.

Millions of residents in the Midwest and Northeast who rely on propane to heat their homes are facing a severe shortage and spiking prices as another wave of freezing weather heads east. Now, states across the region are deploying emergency resources as a result.

Blame for the propane shortage lies with the wetter-than-usual fall, which meant that farmers used more propane than usual to dry corn crops; an unusually cold winter; and a temporary shutdown of a major pipeline for maintenance this year.

As a result, propane prices are setting new records. The average price of a gallon of residential propane for the week ending Jan. 20 hit $2.96, according to the Energy Information Administration, up 60 cents from mid-October, the highest price ever recorded by the agency. Prices in the Midwest are even higher; on Friday, prices ended at $4.30 a gallon in the Midwest, down from a peak of about $5 a gallon. Read full article here.

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Propane shortage slams farmers.

A propane squeeze caused by January’s bitter cold has put the hurt on Minnesota’s livestock industry, as farmers scramble to find costly fuel to keep their animals warm.

Some turkey growers are being told by suppliers that the propane spigot might get turned off if the cold keeps up over the next week.

Shortage worries are particularly acute in the ­turkey industry, and Minnesota is the nation’s leading turkey-producing state, with about 250 growers.

Fuel suppliers have told some farmers that they have “five days left of propane,” said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. “The big concern is availability.”

Farmers — along with propane users of all stripes — are paying huge premiums for the fuel these days. Wholesale spot prices in Minnesota have gone from about $3.75 per gallon a few days ago to just south of $5 a gallon. Last fall, the propane price was $1.55 per gallon, and most of the run-up since then has occurred this month. Read full article here.

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U.S. propane shortage hits millions during brutal freeze.

Millions of Americans are feeling the pinch of a propane shortage this week as brutal cold exposes the supply vulnerabilities of a fuel that heats homes, schools and businesses across wide swathes of the United States.

Prices of the fuel, a liquefied petroleum gas, have rocketed to all-time highs in Midwestern states, distributors are rationing supplies, and some schools have shut due to a lack of the fuel during this year's second bout of Arctic weather.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued emergency orders suspending the limits on the amount of time truck drivers can spend on the road for 10 Midwestern states and 12 Northeastern states, a rare regional order. Read full article here.

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Prolonged cold blast worsens propane shortage across Midwest.

America’s chronic cold is creating a significant propane shortage across the Midwest — leading Wisconsin to become the latest state to declare an energy emergency in advance of more arctic air blasting eastward this week.

Some 14 million Americans who rely on that type of fuel have been shelling out more and more to heat their homes while the strong demand has outpaced the already-low inventories, energy officials say.

Twenty-four states, including Ohio, Illinois and Alabama, have already declared energy emergencies — which helps to loosen transportation rules so that out-of-state truckers can drive longer hours to make needed propane deliveries. Read full article here.

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Now is a great time to research alternative heating products. Take the time to learn about the products available to you and the changes the EPA will be making to the wood burning industry.

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Homeowners Investing in Energy-efficiency

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Mon,Apr 09,2012 @ 02:35 PM

According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 61% of homeowners say they are unaware of any current tax rebates and/or incentives for energy-efficient home upgrades in their area.

If you are in this category, there are many resources available to help you out.  One of the best we have found is DSIRE.

DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.  Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

With two easy ways to search for incentives in your area, this site is very user-friendly. 

Go to http://www.dsireusa.org/ and use one of the following two options to find incentives in your area:

    1. Click on your state.  A list of incentives for your state will be brought up.

    1. Click on the ‘Search DSIRE’ box and fill in the information that pertains to you and a list of the incentives available will be brought up.


 To find a WoodMaster dealer near you check out our dealer locator.

Topics: eco-friendly, woodmaster stove, clean burning, wood stove, woodmaster, flexfuel, energy-saving boiler, high efficiency furnace, energy-efficient stove, Flex Fuel, alternative heating, wood master, northwest manufacturing, WoodMaster Dealer, affordable heating, carbon footprint, energy independence, clean burn, home heating, heating systems, alternative home heating, lower heating costs, outdoor wood furnace, clean energy, outdoor hydronic heater, outdoor wood furnaces, green technology

How one WoodMaster dealer helps people get off the grid...for good

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Tue,Feb 28,2012 @ 02:45 PM


describe the imageMarc Spinale’s first venture with alternative energy began when he constructed his own solar panel at just seven years old.

Now, he’s started Grid be Gone, a company that sells products to help people become less dependent on the power grid—products that now include WoodMaster stoves.

“My vision is that all people can live in an energy-independent way, and my goal is to offer products and services to help people get there,” says Marc.

After launching Grid Be Gone in spring of 2011, Marc began researching a heating option that would fit his company’s niche. He found WoodMaster and has never looked back.

“With WoodMaster stoves, customers can burn a convenient pellet fuel or, if they live in a rural area, utilize the resources in their own backyard to generate their heat for free.”

Marc has been selling the WoodMaster Flex Fuel Series since July 2011 and plans to start carrying pellet furnaces, including the WoodMaster Force/Renovator Natural Energy heating systems, in the coming months.

Marc says he has had a lot of interest in the stoves so far. People are most excited by the fact that they can burn multiple fuels in the same stove and that they are made in the U.S., he says.

Besides being able to offer his customers a green product that helps lower their heating costs, for Marc, one of the greatest rewards of being a dealer is simply working with the folks at WoodMaster.

“They provide top-notch support to their dealers, and you know they’re standing behind their products,” says Marc. “Working with WoodMaster has allowed me to enter the industry with confidence.”

Grid Be Gone currently sells products through an online store and website, but in spring 2012, customers will be able to check out the stoves in person at his new retail store in downtown Peterborough, N.H.

Visit Grid Be Gone’s Facebook page to see pictures of Marc and his crew installing
WoodMaster stoves and stay updated on the latest energy-efficient trends.

Topics: grid be gone, renovator natural heating system, dealer spotlight, woodmaster force, New Hampshire WoodMaster dealer, north pack renewables, get off grid, green products, marc spinale, woodmaster, energy-efficient heating, pellet fuel, woodmaster flexfuel series, wood master, WoodMaster Dealer, energy independence, lower heating costs

How WoodMaster helps customers heat in style

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Fri,Feb 10,2012 @ 02:49 PM

Eric Brannon, owner of Lawn Masters & MoreEric Brannon has been selling firewood for 15 years, but it wasn’t until spring 2011 that he began selling WoodMaster stoves. His reasoning for becoming a dealer? Good ol‘ competition.

“There’s only one person in the area who sells wood furnaces, and I decided he needed a little bit of competition,” says Eric, founder and owner of Lawn Masters & More in Athens, Ohio.

Lawn Masters & More is a contracting and construction landscape business, but they also distribute firewood, which Eric uses to supplement his income during the winter months. Selling wood stoves is a natural fit to accompany Eric’s firewood distribution, and the business the stoves bring in have helped further bridge gaps in his income.

Eric is currently selling all the WoodMaster outdoor wood burning furnaces, and his best-selling stove is the WoodMaster 4400. He has sold six in less than a year and says every customer has been pleased with their stove’s natural energy and ability to lower heating costs.

Eric runs his business on the tenet that home landscaping is an expression of your personal style, which is one of the reasons he said he chose to sell WoodMaster.

“The unit is pretty refined in looks, compared to others in the market,” says Eric. “If you are going to burn firewood for your main source of heat, then WoodMaster is a no-brainer for both energy efficiency and aesthetics.”

Topics: woodmaster stove, dealer spotlight, eric brannon, lawn masters & more, woodmaster outdoor wood-burning furnaces, Wood furnaces, woodmaster 4400, ohio woodmaster dealer, energy-efficient stove, natural energy, wood master, WoodMaster Dealer, lower heating costs

Why we are not the only ones burning wood

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Tue,Jan 31,2012 @ 02:51 PM

WoodMaster knows wood is an energy-efficient fuel source that can lower your heating costs.

But don't just take our word for it.

Derrick Bender, agricultural and natural resources educator at the University of Maryland Extension, is in the midst of a case study comparing the use of wood, wind and sun as alternative energy sources. In a recent article in the Cumberland Times, Bender said his in-progress case study has revealed a wood stove is the best investment of the three, hands-down.

If you’re looking to save both money and energy, the most reliable, renewable and affordable fuel may be in your own backyard.

Topics: wood stove, Wood furnaces, reliable fuel, affordable fuel, energy-efficient fuel, woodmaster, high efficiency furnace, Flex Fuel, renewable fuel, alternative energy, wood master, lower heating costs

If you have the wood, we'll bring the heat.

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Fri,Jan 20,2012 @ 02:52 PM

Jason Osborn, owner of C & C HeatingThat’s the motto of Jason Osborn, founder and owner of C & C Heating in Nokomis, Ill., and one of WoodMaster’s new dealers.

Jason has been in the heating and cooling business for 20 years and started selling WoodMaster stoves in October 2011.

“I’ve been really surprised at how it’s taken off,” says Jason. “I didn’t think we’d sell any stoves by the end of the year, but we sold nine.”

Jason is a WoodMaster newbie, but he’s no rookie to the wood stove industry. After installing stoves distributed by other companies for nine years, Jason decided C & C Heating might as well carry its own line of energy-efficient stoves. Jason currently sells all the WoodMaster stove models, and his best-selling model is the WoodMaster 4400.

“Selling WoodMaster gives us an advantage because we’re now the only heating and air company around that does everything, from selling the stove to installing and maintenance,” says Jason.

One of Jason’s business goals is to offer his customers affordable heating options, a mission in which WoodMaster’s energy-saving stoves fit perfectly. Jason’s customers benefit from lower heating costs, and C & C Heating profits from the increased business.

Jason says he always calls customers to see how they’re liking his products, and every customer that has purchased a WoodMaster stove has been more than pleased with their purchase.

“Everyone loves them and most people wish they would have done it years ago,” he says.

The best thing about being a WoodMaster dealer? The inside edge it gives his company, says Jason.

“If you don’t do something different than everyone else, you don’t stand out. Selling WoodMaster has helped us quite a bit because we offer things that other heating and air companies don’t,” says Jason. “I couldn’t ask for anything better in the stoves.”

Topics: woodmaster stove, dealer spotlight, woodmaster 4400, woodmaster furnace, jason osborn, c & c heating, lower heating cost, heating and cooling, illinois woodmaster dealer, cost-friendly energy, woodmaster, energy-saving boiler, energy-efficient stove, energy-saving stove, WoodMaster boiler, wood master, WoodMaster Dealer, affordable heating, lower heating costs

WoodMaster dealer makes customers happy (and warm) with person-friendly heat

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Tue,Jan 03,2012 @ 02:55 PM

Jonathan Wells, part-owner of Wells ContractingWhen WoodMaster dealer Jonathan Wells’ first batch of furnaces were delivered, the first thing he did was put one in his own house.

“As far as I’m concerned, WoodMaster has one of the best wood-burning products out there, and I’ve looked at a lot of them,” says Jonathan. “I figured if I’m going to sell them, I ought to have one.”

Jonathan and his brother, Brian Wells, began selling WoodMaster furnaces one month ago as an experiment in supplementing his family-owned contracting business during the slower, winter months. So far, he’s sold ten WoodMaster furnaces and says it’s been “going without a hitch.”

Jonathan, part-owner of Wells Contracting in Murphy, N.C., currently sells WoodMaster wood furnace models, including the WoodMaster 4400; however, his eventual goal, as long as there is demand, is to carry all WoodMaster products.

“We’re open to selling every item WoodMaster offers, including the pellet furnaces and bioenergy flex fuel furnaces,” says Jonathan, explaining he and Wells Contracting staff have plans to travel to WoodMaster headquarters in Red Lake Falls, Minn., for training on other WoodMaster products.

Jonathan has sold furnaces to people of all ages, from people in their 20s to people in their 70s. With his sales of wood-burning WoodMaster furnaces already thriving, he is considering investing in a wood processor to sell wood along with the stoves. 

One of WoodMaster’s main benefits, says Jonathan, is “person-friendly heat.”

“You get the benefit of burning wood without the mess—there’s no dust or ashes, so it’s good for people with allergies,” explains Jonathan.

As a business owner, Jonathan says his job description is simple: “to make sure the customer is pleased, regardless of whether I make money on the project. We take pride in our work and go the extra mile to make someone happy.”

Jonathan says all of his WoodMaster customers have been overly surprised with the product’s efficiency.

“I like to see people smile when they crank it up and see how great it works,” says Jonathan. “They knew it was going to work well, but they didn’t know it would work this well.”

With “customers calling all the time to tell him how they love the system,” it’s safe to say that selling WoodMaster products fits right in with Jonathan’s job description.

Topics: dealer spotlight, woodmaster 4400, person friendly heat, red lake falls mn, wells contracting, north carolina woodmaster dealer, jonathan wells, bioenergy flex fuel furnace, woodmaster, pellet furnace, wood master, WoodMaster Dealer, lower heating costs

WoodMaster furnace owners share one regret: not switching sooner.

Posted by Todd Strem on Wed,Aug 31,2011 @ 11:17 AM

Christa, Marilyn & Rob Beauchesne of Northern Outdoor Energy SystemsThe larger door. Strong insulation that keeps the heat in. Its ability to turn off the fan if the wood gets low. Sturdy steel throughout. All are reasons why Canadian company Northern Outdoor Energy Systems Ltd. was attracted to WoodMaster furnaces and began selling them in May 2005.

Owners Rob and Marilyn Beauchesne had been in the outdoor furnace business for two years before the WoodMaster furnace features caught their attention. Over the past six years of selling WoodMaster furnaces, the Beauchesne’s business has benefited from happy WoodMaster customers. Marilyn explains, “Our customers are extremely pleased with the performance of the WoodMaster furnace, and as they recommend it to their family and friends, our business grows.”

Like Richard Worley, Marilyn reports the 4400 WoodMaster furnace as their biggest seller. “With its 5,000-square-foot capacity, it can heat a home, shop, domestic water heater and hot tub all at once,” Marilyn explains. “Our customers are happy with the heat it produces and wish they had purchased one years ago!”

After selling over 400 outdoor furnaces, the Beauchesnes feel “extremely confident” in the quality and performance of the WoodMaster furnaces. Proof that customers agree is evidenced by the many trade-ins of other brands brought to the store. WoodMaster furnace owners enjoy steady warmth in their homes and always-hot water, as well as a significant decrease in heating bills.

Many of the Beauchesne’s customers share only one regret, and that is: “We wish we would have done this years ago.”

Have you ever been so happy with a product or service that your only regret was not buying it sooner? What was it?

Topics: Wood furnaces, woodmaster 4400, woodmaster owner, outdoor furnace canada, canada, OHH, outdoor furnace owner, Rob Beauchesne, Marilyn Beauchesne, Northern Outdoor Energy Systems, canadian dealer, woodmaster, wood furnace, northwest manufacturing, WoodMaster Dealer, home heating, heating systems, lower heating costs, outdoor wood furnace, outdoor hydronic heater, outdoor wood furnaces

Why Richard is proud to be a WoodMaster dealer

Posted by Todd Strem on Fri,Aug 05,2011 @ 11:20 AM

Chuck Gagner and Richard WorleyIt all started in 1996.


That’s when Richard Worley bought his first WoodMaster furnace. Little did he know that this one purchase would not only save him money on heating costs, but also provide his future income. A year later, in 1997, Richard opened Richard Worley Sales & Service and became a WoodMaster dealer.

“I loved my new furnace,” explains Richard, “and was inspired to make a career change to start selling a product I believe in.”

Over his past 14 years as a WoodMaster dealer, Richard says his best seller by far is the WoodMaster 4400 Heavy-Duty furnace. Engineered to heat larger homes or home-garage combinations, “It’s about the right size to suit almost everyone’s needs,” he says. Many of Richard’s customers opt to share a WoodMaster. Often father-daughter or brother-sister duos, with houses in close proximity, will heat two houses with one furnace.

Richard says his career as a WoodMaster dealer is very rewarding. The best part: hearing people who’ve owned a WoodMaster for a few years come back and say what a smart purchase it was. They’re very happy with their furnace and love reaping the rewards of lower heating bills.

Richard explains one devoted WoodMaster fan’s daily routine: “When he wakes up in the morning, the first thing he does is hug his WoodMaster furnace… before he hugs his wife.” That certainly goes beyond customer satisfaction.

Has your passion for a product ever influenced the direction of your career? Please, do tell.

Topics: Wood furnaces, woodmaster 4400, Chuck Gagner, Richard Worley, woodmaster, WoodMaster Dealer, lower heating costs

Welcome, wood masters.

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Tue,Jul 19,2011 @ 11:22 AM

You’re the master of your home. You build, you fix, you do.

This is your chance to unplug.

Take off your work boots and relax for a minute. Here, we’ll share tips and tricks for living independently and heating your home efficiently. We’ll keep you informed on EPA regulations, energy prices, energy efficiency and alternative fuels. We’ll also mix in product comparisons and stories from dealers and WoodMaster enthusiasts.

The purpose of this blog is to provide everything you need to know about heating your home, conserving energy, living independently and saving money at the same time.

We’ll do this work so you can get back to doing your work: the fixing, the building, the doing – because that’s what you’re the master of.

Topics: Wood furnaces, woodmaster furnace, woodmaster, high efficiency furnace, Pellet furnaces, Flex Fuel, wood master, northwest manufacturing, WoodMaster Dealer, home heating, heating systems, lower heating costs, outdoor wood furnaces

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