Last time I wrote it was the middle of winter. Now it’s the first day of spring but it feels just as cold. I was going to write to celebrate the sale of my 1000th sheep, but that happened the week after I was interviewed on the Radio 2 Drivetime innovation feature and I haven’t stopped since. I haven’t even had time to count sheep, but over 1500 have been sold now and I can start looking forward to selling my 2000th sheep!
What remains gratifying is the positive feedback I get back from customers. Almost every day I get an email from someone to say that they really notice a difference since they put the sheep in their chimney, that the draughts are reduced and the room is noticeably warmer. I like to think that each sheep we send out is doing its bit to plug gaps in houses and prevent heat from being unnecessarily lost.
I’m still looking at the various tests that are on offer, but an energy assessor calculated that an average end of terrace house with a standard open flue would save £21 – £23 per year. This means that a Chimney Sheep™ would pay for itself within a year, and probably within one winter. Compare that with, say, installing solar water heating, which will save £24 per year but costs £5,000 to install! Wall insulation will provide a saving of £272 per year but cost up to £14,000, or would take 52 years to pay for itself. Insulating your chimney really is a cheap and effective means of making great savings on your fuel bills and carbon loss.
It was 3°C today and a cold wind, but spring is more than just a calendar date. Birds are gathering nesting material, daffodils are doing their Lake District thing and lambs are popping out all over the place. I saw some newborn lambs today with little plastic macs on, they do look quite comical as they totter about.
It’s a strange business to be in, when you find yourself hoping for a long cold winter, but it is time for the weather to warm up a bit now. I know this means sales will drop, but as long as you have the central heating on you will be needing a Chimney Sheep™, and in our climate that probably means I’ll be selling a few sheep yet…