In Poland, buildings consume roughly 40% of energy produced, and residential buildings consume approximately 70% of energy consumed by the total building stock. Hence, there is a high potential for energy savings in this sector. The largest energy demand from residential buildings arises from heating needs.

In order to encourage greater energy savings (and reduce greenhouse gas emissions) from the buildings sector - both residential and commercial, Polish Government has initiated several programs including a building certificates program and the Thermo-Modernization Fund. The building certificates program is designed to improve consumers’ knowledge about the energy expenditures of their home when purchasing or renting. This system is expected to provide incentives for owners to invest in energy efficiency improvements as a way to reduce their own energy costs as well as raise the value of their property. In addition, the Government plans to upgrade building standards for energy efficiency for newly-constructed buildings.

The existing programs operate relatively well showing promising indicators of termomodernization and improvement of energy efficiency. Unfortunately, they merely reach poor households that – paradoxically – are in the greatest demand of termomodernization.

The purpose of the study on energy poverty phenomenon in Poland was to elaborate policy options supporting termomodernization processes addressed to the poor households in Poland. The study consists of several elements: definition of target group of such programs, aproximation of scale of the phenomenon, assessment of existing instruments esp. in context of engagement of poor households, qualitative research and case study to understand specificity of the target group, recomendations of policy options counteracting energy poverty, and expert assessment of elaborated policy options.

The project was carried out by the Foundation Institute of Public Affairs, Poland for the World Bank purposes in the period of March-November 2013.