WINCHENDON -- At Central Mass Tree in Winchendon, cutting machines, loaders, and dumps trucks are at full throttle, feverishly trying to keep up with the high demand for firewood.
"It's pretty overwhelming, I'd say the flow is three or more times more than we saw it in past," said owner Randy Rameau.
As energy costs skyrocket throughout the state, homeowners are watching their wallets. That's why Rameau said his machines are going seven days a week.
"There's no chance of keeping up with what we are up against now. We are doing the best we can to keep costs down for consumers," he told WBZ-TV.
He offers his conventional barkless wood at a reasonable price because he knows homeowners will be struggling this winter.
"A lot of guys doing price some gouging, we don't do that, we are really focused on trying to help people out, get them the wood. The electricity, the propane, the heating oil it's all gone up so much," said Rameau.
"The demand is high. People are nervous, they are coming in, they don't know how they are going to afford to heat with oil or if they have electric heat," said Jody Carbonneau of The Stove Place.
With wood comes fireplaces. The Stove Place in Shrewsbury said they are doing their best to keep up with customers coming to buy wood burning and pellet stoves.
"The weekends are crazy. Come in prepared to wait. People are waiting 30 minutes, 40 minutes to be helped," said Carbonneau.
The price of these products installed can run anywhere from $5,000-7,000, which Carbonneau knows can be a sticker shock for some customers. But "it's a return on investment. Very few things you buy for your home end up paying you back," he said. "It's a two-year return on investment."
Both owners said their customers will do whatever they can to keep the fires burning high but energy bills low.
On Tuesday, National Grid and Eversource moved from summer to winter rates. As a result, National Grid's monthly electricabout 60% compared to last winter. Natural gas is going up around 20%.
Anyone who needs help in Massachusetts is encouraged to sign up for a home energy assistance program. It is a free resource to help eligible households pay a portion of their winter heating bills.
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