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Poland to extend gas tariff shield for households until 2027 and limit exchange obligations on the gas market

The Polish government presented the draft act on gas safety on Monday, which would postpone the liberalisation of gas prices for households until the end of 2027 in face of soaring energy costs.

Poland’s energy regulator (URE) sets tariffs for retail consumers, while prices for enterprises are not regulated. The Polish gas market liberalisation was calculated at the level of 91 per cent. The government confirmed 2023 as the date for the liberalisation of the household segment.

The government underlined that the situation on the global energy market following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the unprecedented surge in gas prices following Gazprom’s restrictive actions require some amendments in legislations to ensure an efficient and real-time response to further deterioration of the situation and to eliminate the negative effects of the ongoing economic crisis.

The government’s list of planned legislation published on their website includes the extension of the gas tariff protection for household consumers until December 31, 2027.

In January Poland introduced a mechanism that protects households and public institutions from surging gas prices until the end of 2023 covering over 7.1 million natural gas consumers.

“In the current situation, it is clear that in view of the risk of a prolonged crisis, tariff protection is needed by the end of 2027,” reads the legislative proposal.

The draft legislation prepared by the Ministry of Climate plans to introduce other measures as well to strengthen gas security.

The government is planning to suspend the so-called exchange obligation – the obligation to sell gas through the exchange in case of a crisis situation, which “would provide market participants with greater flexibility in the event of disruptions in natural gas supplies”.

The draft bill also raises the possibility to change the level of the exchange obligation. The minister for energy would be authorised to reduce the requirement for the quantity of natural gas sold via the commodity exchange in 2022 or 2023. “This solution will provide market participants with greater flexibility in the event of disruptions in natural gas supplies,” says the draft bill.

Measures would also include extending the period in which the mandatory gas reserves should be able to be delivered to the gas system from 40 to 45 days as well as a new definition of the state’s gas security, tightening the system of consumer protection and covering situations of sudden price increases.

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