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Poland announces ‘Solidarity Shield’ amid soaring energy prices

The Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki presented the Solidarity Shield, a new legislative proposal that aims to protect households and businesses against rising prices by introducing a “guaranteed electricity price” (for example, a limit on energy prices for costumers). In addition, the government announced a new mandatory 10 per cent electricity savings threshold for public administration. 

The Minister for Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa, the Minister of Family and Social Policy, Marlena Maląg and the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Waldemar Buda, joined the Prime Minister during the announcement.

Assistance for households and businesses

The energy price limit will apply to all the households that consume up to 2,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year and to those that include disabled people, families of three or more and farmers that consume up to 2,600 kWh of electricity per year. These measures are expected to be implemented from January 2023.

“In this way, we encourage you, at the same time, to save energy,” said Prime Minister Morawiecki. “I emphasise that any households, including the ones that utilise 2,500 or 3,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, will also greatly benefit from the scheme. Only the surplus will be burdened with higher costs for next year.”

Households will also be incentivised to lower energy usage with an additional discount on energy bills next year. This will apply to households that reduce their energy consumption by a minimum of 10 per cent in 2023, in comparison to their usage in 2022.

Moreover, additional funding of 1,000 zloty (approximately 210 euros) will be offered to households whose main source of energy comes from electricity, for example, heat pumps.

The Solidarity Shield will also provide assistance to energy-intensive enterprises. Up to 5 billion zloty (approximately 1,05 billion euros) will be allocated to this support scheme, granted to recipients who face a minimum of 100 per cent increase in their energy prices. These funds are planned to be distributed later this year.

“We helped to survive the huge previous crisis, saving several million jobs and this is how we act now,” continued the Prime Minister. “After all, the safety of Polish families, the safety of jobs and Poles is directly related to the safety of entrepreneurs, their competitiveness and their ability to survive, especially those who consume energy the most.”

In addition, from 2023, Polish business owners will be able to connect renewable energy sources (RES) directly to the grid.

Energy cuts in public administration and state-owned companies

National and local government administrations will be obliged to reduce electricity consumption by 10 per cent. As part of this, public buildings will be fitted with energy-saving external lighting, which consumes significantly less energy. These measures are expected to be implemented from 1 October 2022.

Prime Minister Morawiecki also commissioned Deputy Prime Minister, Jacek Sasin to eliminate bonuses for members of management boards of State Treasury companies, which will allow for further savings in State-owned companies. The Prime Minister will personally supervise the implementation of this recommendation.

Earlier this month, the Polish parliament adopted a new legislation that will provide one-off payments to households and sensitive public institutions, in order to compensate energy customers amid the ongoing European energy crisis.

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