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Friday, December 3, 2021

Supplements to electricity bills. How long will the support last? The MKiŚ explains

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The assumptions of the electricity subsidy project assume that the support will apply in the years 2022-2031, the Ministry of Climate and Environment announced. The ministry added that the value of the aid is to increase every year from approximately PLN 1.5 billion to approximately PLN 1.7 billion. The amount of the subsidies is to vary from PLN 324 to PLN 876 per year. The project is ready, now the government will work on it.

The Ministry of Climate and Environment in Friday’s communiqué emphasized that the draft amendment to the Energy Law and certain other acts aimed at the governmental works is aimed at, inter alia, introducing new energy additives, increasing the protection of vulnerable customers and other, non-financial support tools. It was indicated as one of the responses to the deteriorating situation of many households in connection with the pan-European energy crisis.


Subsidies on electricity prices – project

– The regulation is primarily aimed at implementing energy consumers’ shielding instruments, necessary in the current conditions of dynamic energy price growth. We estimate that thanks to the proposed solution, the number of beneficiaries of the allowances will increase to approx 2.63 million households, which is almost 20 percent – explains the head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Michał Kurtyka, quoted in the press release.

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According to the ministry, the aid will guarantee the weakest recipients that one of their basic needs, which is access to electricity, will be met. – Already at the stage of preparing the act, the Ministry of Climate and Environment agreed the details with, among others, the Ministry of Finance and provided financing at a minimum level of PLN 1.5 billion. I am convinced that the bill will soon be discussed by the Sejm – said Kurtyka.

The Ministry explained that the main change brought about by the amendment is the expansion of the group of eligible persons for the energy allowance (according to the income criterion, not exceeding PLN 1,563 in a single-person household and PLN 1,115 / person in a multi-person household). It was announced that the allowances will be granted for a period of six months, and to receive them, it is enough to present an invoice (instead of a copy of the electricity sales contract or the comprehensive contract). “This will greatly simplify the procedure and is in line with the recipients’ requests” – it was noted.

Who will receive electricity subsidies?

– We assumed that every fifth household in Poland would be able to receive support. The proposed solution significantly expands the eligible group, including those who could not apply for the allowance, for example due to excess space in the apartment, and thus were excluded from being granted a housing allowance. This applies in particular to recipients living alone in single-family houses in small towns and villages, whose financial situation justifies the granting of permanent or periodic benefits. Income groups will also be covered by the energy allowance: those benefiting from social assistance benefits, pensioners with a benefit below the minimum retirement age, retirees and pensioners with a benefit equal to the lowest retirement pension, as well as families with many children. The change is aimed at better targeting the assistance and providing better protection to those families in a more difficult material and living situation – lists the head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The ministry said that, according to the assumptions of the draft amendment, the additional payment to the recipient’s account will increase from 30 to 50 percent. “The rates of the allowance they will be will be higher from 324 PLN to 876 PLN in the annual period. Changing the value of electricity consumption limits will increase the amount of the energy allowance and will more correspond to the real situation related to energy consumption by households. The government plans to allocate for the years 2022-2031 amounts to support the energy-sensitive recipient, increasing each year from the level of approx. PLN 1.5 billion to the level of approx. PLN 1.7 billion “- it was informed.

Energy supplement

The proposed amendment, apart from additional payments to the accounts, also provides for non-financial support mechanisms. It was explained that the sensitive electricity / gas consumer will be able to submit an application to the electricity / gas seller regarding, among others: concluding an agreement on overdue and current receivables or the service provided, including deferral of their payment date, payment in installments, redemption or withdrawal from charging interest for late payment, as well as suspension of enforcement proceedings for electricity / gas or services provided.

The future amendment will also prohibit the suspension of electricity supplies to vulnerable customers in the period from November 1 to March 31 and on Saturdays, on statutory holidays. An obligation will be imposed on energy companies to inform consumers about a possible alternative solution to electricity / gas disconnection – added.

– The energy allowance in conjunction with non-financial support will increase the sense of security of less affluent Poles, and the basic need, i.e. access to electricity, will be provided to everyone. It is now necessary to proceed with the project efficiently and the solutions we propose to enter into force, so that we can cover the most sensitive electricity consumers with support mechanisms as soon as possible in the current, dynamically changing market situation – summarizes Minister Michał Kurtyka.

The new regulations will define the phenomenon of energy poverty for the first time in Polish law. “Energy poverty means a situation where a household run by one person or several people together in an independent dwelling or in a building in which no economic activity related to its operation is carried out, is unable to provide itself with a sufficient level of heat and cold. , lighting and electricity to power devices, as a result of a combination of low income, high energy expenditure and low energy efficiency “- provide for the proposed regulations.

The ministry added that the amendment also introduces provisions giving grounds for the preparation of local support programs.

The ministry announced that the draft was referred to the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers. Then it will go to the government for consideration, and later it will be submitted for work in parliament.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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