N.B. sees spike in woodstove, firewood sales after ice storm, outages

The combination of cold temperatures and long power outages in New Brunswick is driving many homeowners to turn to an old-fashioned heat source.

People who sell woodstoves and firewood say there has been a spike in demand this winter.

Vic Williams burns a lot of wood every winter. His outdoor wood burner heats his house and two garages and this year it has been working overtime.

“I have burned more wood than normal, due to the cold temperatures,” says Williams. “We don’t normally get these cold temperatures. We do in January, sometimes, but not a constant like it has been during the ice storm.”

Williams lives on the Kingston Peninsula, where hundreds of his neighbours were without power for more than a week.

Many of those homeowners with woodstoves were able to stay in their homes.

“I would think that people are going to start burning more wood and in the spring of this year, start purchasing wood. There’s going to be a demand for it, no question about it,” says Williams.

Some firewood suppliers are already preparing orders for customers who have used a lot more wood this winter than they anticipated.

There is expected to be increasing demand for firewood in the weeks and months to come, as homeowners replenish their supplies. Woodstoves are also in high demand after the ice storm.

Woodstove retailer Merry Snodgrass says customers are looking for a reliable, no-fail source of heat.

“We seem to think that when we hear these stories in other places, that it could never happen here,” says Snodgrass.

“But it has really come home and people are starting to understand that this could happen again, it could happen again this winter season for all we know.”