It’s our anniversary! One year ago in August the first sheep was sold. One year ago in September Chimney Sheep Ltd was incorporated.
So what’s happened in that time? The product range has grown from 3 to 9 sizes of sheep, as people have kindly got in touch with their various chimney dimensions.
The product has been tested by the University of Liverpool School of Architecture with very favourable results – more about that later!
The selling target we set ourselves has been doubled.
Chimney Sheep has featured in national newspapers and was on the BBC Radio 2’s innovation slot in February which did amazing things to Google Analytics (and the sales figures!) Distributors from Australia and New Zealand have expressed interest.
Chimney Sheep Ltd was one of a dozen low carbon start-up companies selected to be “incubated” at the Birmingham Science Park.
Chimney Sheep Ltd is a finalist in the CN group business awards in the New Business of the Year category. It’s also a finalist in the Green Business awards, in the energy efficiency service category.
To be honest, this is far more than I ever expected or even dared dream of in the first year! It hasn’t been without its stresses but it’s the challenges that make life interesting, eh?
And what a brilliant bunch of customers! People that totally “get” the product even though there’s hardly been any information about heat loss up chimneys. That diagram from the Energy Savings Trust showing the bits of house that your heat escapes from doesn’t even mention chimneys. And it really means such a lot to me when people take the trouble to get in touch and let me know that they are happy with their sheep, that they notice a reduction in draughts, that they are turning their thermostats down…it really makes me happy!
So, what’s planned for next year? Well, that report I mentioned should be ready for release soon. I’ve just ordered 2.5km of Herdwick wool felt. How many sheep is that?? It means we’re committed to selling at least three times what we did last year.
HMRC have set a challenge: for chimney draught exclusion products to be recognised as “official” draught exclusion or insulation products eligible for a lower rate of VAT, we have to campaign to get the law changed.
We’ve got evidence that the Chimney Sheep™ saves around 4% of household heat loss, so it’s time to get the powers that be to acknowledge what we do and get us included in the insulation club. Something tells me we’re going to be busy!