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Chimney sweepers in Vienna embrace sustainable mobility

Chimney sweepers in Vienna embrace sustainable mobility

With financial help from the city, hundreds of local chimney sweepers will be equipped with electric cargo bikes

On Monday, local authorities in Vienna and representatives of the Chimney Sweeper Guild (Rauchfangkehrer) presented the new electric cargo bikes that chimney sweepers will be switching to in the near future.

According to Christian Leiner, the regional guild master, e-cargo bikes are the perfect mode of transportation for their profession. They are small and can park virtually anywhere. They are also sustainable and offer enough space so that chimney sweepers can transport their equipment.

The city, in its own right, will use cash from the Vienna Green Electricity Fund to support chimney sweeping companies that want to switch to e-cargo bikes. According to information from the city, authorities have already financed 260 companies for the purchase of 300 bikes.

Another 180 companies are pending approval and are preparing to make their own purchases. All in all, Vienna has thrown its financial support behind 440 chimney sweeping companies.

An old profession getting ready for a sustainable future

Chimney sweeping is a relatively old profession that feels sort of out of place in 2021. However, as the Viennese professionals will tell you, they are far from obsolete and play a crucial part in the city’s heating/energy efficiency/air quality paradigm.

They ensure the safety of the nearly 12,000 households running fireplaces as their heating source by preventing fires and carbon monoxide poisonings. According to Leiner, well-maintained systems use 10% less fuel and produce fewer greenhouse gases.

Chimney sweepers reduce unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions and the addition of sustainable means of transportation can help even more. Christian Leiner was quoted in a press release, saying: "E-vehicles are ideal for the short distances that they cover almost exclusively in the urban area and are accordingly popular in the industry."

Thanks to a wide range of transport and parking options and a considerable load volume in which the necessary tools and technical equipment of a typical chimney sweeper can be transported, the e-cargo bike is a cost-effective alternative to a car. 

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