Fisher Ace hardware in Springfield suggested that he would be willing to stock coal if he had the demand but right now that demand isn't there. The local stove stores aren't interested in selling coal stoves, they are barely interested in Pellet stoves. I went to the stove store in Fairfax - the only coal stove store on record - and they didn't even have any coal stoves on the floor but would order me one and "oh by the way, don't you know that they are illegal in Fairfax County?" What?, says I. "Yeah, the county won't even allow installation of coal stoves in the county so they are illegal." "That's why I have no demand for them." He has been telling anyone who asked that. So I proceeded to tell him he was wrong, that I had a coal stove in the county and it had been inspected by the county code people and had all the paper work done and approved. The county doesn't care what you burn in your stove, just that it's installed right. He didn't care and blew me off so I left without the door gasket I was there for. He also doesn't stock pellets for the stoves he sells. Oh yeah, he also told me he didn't stock coal because he had no way to keep it dry and that ruined the coal. I got the impression his big money item was gas logs.
All that being said, I have noticed an increase in the amount of folks interested in burning coal. Not interested enough to actually take the leap but interested enough to talk to me about it. I think more folks will be more interested as the Obama administration "necessarily causes our energy costs to raise." I hope it's not too late for them. As a side note, that's why I'm going to get my next year's coal in just as soon as this heating season is over. We do live in interesting times. Take care, Lisa