Chimney sweeps play a key role in Germany’s green energy transition

The unique German chimney sweeps, dressed in black jackets with brass buttons and sporty top hats, may seem like glimpses of a bygone era, but the head of their association says they are key to transitioning the countries towards green energy.

The Ukraine crisis has accelerated change for the country’s 21,000 chimney sweeps, said Alexis Gula of the board of directors of the Federal Association of Chimney Sweeps: “It has been clear to us for some time that this is a transformational process for our profession”.

More than 10,000 chimney sweeps in Germany are already trained and certified building energy consultants, he said. “The need for advice among the population is incredibly high.”

A classically dressed chimney sweep works on a roof in Germany in this undated photo. (Alamy via Reuters)

Many new buildings do not have fireplaces and chimneys because they are heated either by an electric heat pump or by district heating, but in addition to the classic chimney sweeping and security control activities, Gula is convinced that many chimney sweeps will specialize in energy and ventilation technology in the future.

The chimney sweeps have more than 200,000 customer contacts in Germany every day and are a neutral point of contact for their customers.

“They are insanely confident,” Gula said.

Sweeps are also seen as a symbol of good luck, with many Germans claiming to shake hands or touch their clothes as they ply their trade on the country’s streets.

Customer satisfaction is 98%, Gula said: “The energy and heat revolution will not be possible without the profession of chimney sweep.

Chimney sweeps could also take care of heat pumps, as it is also about efficiency and operational safety.

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