Parliament passes bill introducing non-coal heating support package

The Sejm, lower house of parliament, has approved a bill envisaging one-off subsidies for households relying on non-coal fuels for heating.

The draft legislation also introduces special heating cost growth subsidies for select public institutions, and compensations to heat companies due to a plotted cap on tariffs.

The bill was adopted in a 293 to 22 vote with 112 abstentions on Friday

It envisages one-off allowances of PLN 3,000 (EUR 636) for wood pellet users, PLN 2,000 (EUR 424) for heating oil users, PLN 1,000 (EUR 212) for timber users and PLN 500 (EUR 106) for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) users.

Additionally, vulnerable recipients using heating fuels including hard coal or pellet containing at least 85 percent of hard coal may count on subsidies compensating 40 percent of heating costs growth.

Households will be able to choose just one heating fuel while applying for compensation and support will be limited to one address in order to prevent fraud, according to the adopted bill.

Climate Minister Anna Moskwa has earlier said that the average support for a household resulting from the adopted bill will amount to PLN 1,000-4,000 (EUR 212- EUR 847) for the whole heating season.

Also, under the adopted bill, as district heating price hikes for households and vulnerable recipients such as schools and hospitals are to be capped, Poland's heat companies will be able to apply to energy market regulator URE for approval of tariffs with state compensations. Specifically, the average heat price will be capped at PLN 150.95 (EUR 32)/GJ for sources fuelled with gas and heating oil and at PLN 103.82 (EUR 22)/GJ for other sources.

The strategic reserves agency RARS will also be able to receive up to PLN 8.6 billion (EUR 1.8 bln) loan from the state budget in 2023. The size of the loan was determined based on estimates of state firms obliged by the Prime Minister to make extra coal purchases for this year's heating season.

The support for heat companies will be in force for the whole heating season, from October 2022 to April 2023.

The government estimates the total cost of the non-coal heating support package at PLN 10 billion (EUR 2.1 bln).

The bill will now go to the Senate.