Induced to record levels of wholesale energy prices with the delivery for next year, they leave no illusions – from January, end users, including households and industry, will also feel sizable increases. For Poles, it would be another blow to their wallets, after the gigantic increases in fuel and heating prices, as well as the ubiquitous high prices in shops and service outlets. The government is well aware that the coming winter may be decisive for the results of next year’s elections, therefore serves Poles more rescue shields.
After a series of allowances to ease heating bills, the time has come to deal with the electricity price crisis. The government is proposing a mechanism that will partially freeze electricity prices at this year’s level, but only up to a certain consumption limit. He also prepared additional support for people who heat their homes with electricity. The devil, however, is in the details as always, and even before the project is published the idea itself was found by some experts to be too complicated and “written on the knee”.
On Wednesday, the bill prepared by the Ministry of Climate will be dealt with by the Sejm and a heated discussion can be expected. It turns out that a stormy discussion was also taking place in the government, because a separate draft was prepared by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Janusz Kowalski. However, his idea was lost at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, but as part of concessions, the government introduced several amendments to Anna Moskwa’s project.
This is what the Sejm will deal with today
The main goal of the law under review is to block electricity prices at the level from 2022. However, cheap energy will be available only up to a certain consumption limit, which will be 2,000. kWh per year. Higher limits were established for people with disabilities – 2.6 thousand. kWh and for farmers and families with at least three children – 3 thousand. kWh per year. Raising the latter threshold to 3,000. kWh was agreed after negotiations at Monday’s government meeting.
If the farm exceeds the limit, for each additional kilowatt-hour, he will pay a rate in accordance with his supplier’s tariff in force in 2023. It can be expected that it will be much higher than this year’s.
The government explains that the limit of 2,000 kWh is close to the average energy consumption in a household in 2020. It is known, however, that it is completely incompatible with, for example, people who heat their houses with electricity.
Instead of selling electricity at a reduced price, electricity sellers will receive compensation from the state.
The project also provides for introduction of an allowance for households that use electricity for heating, including the use of heat pumps. Initially, it was supposed to be 1 thousand zloty for everyone, but after Monday’s deliberations this amount was increased to 1.5 thousand zloty for farms that consume over 5,000 kWh of electricity annually. This is the situation, for example, for the inhabitants of Krakow tenement houses, whose annual consumption sometimes exceeds 9 thousand. kWh and they cannot switch to other heat sources.
The condition for receiving the electrical allowance will be an entry or notification of the heating source to the Central Register of Emissivity of Buildings. Applications can be submitted to the commune.
Additionally, the project provides for a special discount for households that will reduce electricity consumption from October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023 to 90 percent. the amount used in the same period of the previous year. The discount value will be 10%. the total cost of electricity consumption.
The cost of introducing all these regulations will total PLN 26.8 billion and will be covered by the COVID-19 Counteracting Fund.
Alternative of Solidarity Poland
The Solidarna Polska project, which Business Insider has reached, is largely based on solutions proposed by the Ministry of Climate, but the main difference concerns the method of calculating the consumption limit energyfor which you can buy electricity at a low price. This limit would take into account the number of people on the farm and would be different for rural residents and different for urban residents.
And so for people living alone it would be 1 thousand. kWh, and in other cases, the limit would be established as the product of the number of permanent residents of the farm and the amount of 580 kWh for urban residents or 817 kWh for rural residents.
For example, a family of three living in a city could count on buying up to 1740 kWh of energy at a lower price. However, a similar family living in the countryside would already have a limit of 2,451 kWh. In the case of a five-person farm, these limits would already be 2,900 kWh and 4,085 kWh, respectively.
“The limits calculated in this way are a real reflection of the differences in the possibilities of saving electricity in cities and in rural areas and will be an appropriate measure of diligence for saving electricity consumption. It should be noted that such formulation of the rules for calculating compensations takes into account not only families with many children, but also families with many generations, often living under one roof in rural areas. The project also adequately distributes responsibilities between rural areas and cities where the difference in consumption electric energy it is important, and at the same time it is objectively justified “- we read in the justification of the bill by Solidarna Polska.
Andrzej Guła from the Polish Smog Alert, who fights for the highest possible support for people who have given up smoking and switched to electric heating, does not delete this type of idea. – If the new solution to freeze energy prices would take into account the number of people on the farm, but also the source of heat, then I think that this course of action is worth considering – commented Guła.
“Totalny messel” and “plunder”
At the same time, Guła points to the shortcomings resulting from the electricity prices act currently being processed in the Sejm. – I would like the authors of this solution to tell all citizens what the projected price of electricity will be above the consumption limit indicated in the draft. This is the key point. Because today we only know that there is a set limit to which cheaper energy will be used and an allowance for people heating the house with electricity in the amount of 1-1.5 thousand. zloty. For a person who uses 9 thousand. kWh of energy per year, such support will be negligible if the electricity bill increases by several thousand – notes the PAS leader.
He estimates that there are about a million households that heat their homes with electricity. – These people have no idea what electricity bills will be paying next year. So on the one hand, we have a total mess in the field of heating, on the other – plunder, because companies with Treasury shareholding sell electricity at a price several times higher than the cost of production. This is a robbery that will have consequences for the entire economy because with such high energy prices, enterprises will collapse. The government is talking today about imposing a special tax on energy companies and redistributing their windfall profits, but me I would prefer the government to prevent these companies from having such horrendous margins – suggests Guła.
Author: Barbara Oksińska, journalist from Business Insider Polska