Chimney Sheep Ltd
CHIMNEY SHEEP LTD
24B Solway Trading Estate,
- 2022 Innovation
Having an open chimney is like leaving a window open all the time. When ecologist Sally Phillips became aware of how many open chimneys there are in the UK, she was shocked at the amount of energy and money that was being wasted.
In total, 60% of the UK housing stock, around 11 million homes, is built with open chimneys. These are often retained as an attractive feature in the home. There’s a perception that chimneys need to be left open to ventilate the home. However, 80 cubic metres of air flow up a chimney per hour. This is far too much ventilation!
Wool has excellent insulation properties, and is breathable, an important consideration for older homes. Sally developed the Chimney Sheep™, a chimney blocker made of Herdwick sheep wool. Herdwick wool is coarse and wiry, which are ideal properties for the product. It needs to be rigid enough to hold itself in place in the chimney, but malleable enough to conform to uneven chimney surfaces and to fit a range of sizes.
Simplicity and sustainability were fundamental aspects from the outset. The product needed to be simple to use and simple to understand. It is durable, will last at least a decade, but at the end of its life the wool component can be composted and the plastic component can be reused or recycled.
Sally developed the concept into a marketable product. This was launched in 2012 and has grown over the years. Chimney Sheep Ltd has 11 employees and has sold over 150,000 units.
“I’m delighted to have won the Queen’s Award for Business,” says Sally. “In these difficult times, the Chimney Sheep has a role to play in reducing energy bills. A Chimney Sheep saves around 5% of household heat loss – at present that equates to around £95 off a typical heating bill. Winning the Queen’s Award gives us all at Chimney Sheep a boost, a warm glow of success. But it is also raising awareness of heat loss up chimneys, which has been largely ignored by the insulation industry.”
Receiving acclaimed BBA certification at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show