When the average American sees a spike in their electric bill, it sometimes means the cost of liquid propane has gone up. We gripe and we paid the bill. But for poultry farmers who uses substantially more energy to keep their birds warm, a rise in the cost of propane can significantly affect the bottom line. The poultry producer has no other choice than to simply pay the bill.
Now, thanks to Lee Energy Solutions, there is another option for the poultry farmer to keep heating costs low and steady. The company produces and sells a furnace that burns wood pellets. Wood is a renewable resource that has a more consistent cost basis. An unexpected benefit to burning wood pellets is the drier heat it produces. This dry heat eliminates more ammonia in the air and is consequently healthier for the birds. The ammonia is a result of humidity that builds up when trying to heat a structure while it is freezing outside. Moist litter can produce ammonia.
The substantial savings between having healthier birds and low-cost wood pellets quickly became evident. Even when propane prices are low, it is still cost effective to use the wood pellets and have a healthier flock.
Davis Lee, the owner of Lee Energy Solutions, was previously a poultry farmer and saw what high propane prices were doing to some farmers, so he started working on a solution. Lee worked with engineers to develop the furnace and pellet and spent years testing on working farms. Today, there are well over 100 farms in the Southeast running his furnaces, and repeat business has proven his system works.
Lee Energy Solutions is expanding into the greenhouse industry, and they are also broadening their territory into the Northeast. Farmers pay roughly $20,000 for a poultry-house unit, and there is usually a five-year term for payback.