Poland earmarks $1 bln to help curb surge in household heating bills

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WARSAW (Reuters) – Proposed measures to help Polish households cope with rising heating bills will cost 4.5 billion zlotys ($1.04 billion), according to a draft law posted on the parliament website on the weekend.

Warsaw has vowed to limit price increases for heating to 40%, as the impact of the war in Ukraine on voters’ wallets comes into sharp focus in an election year.

“The Council of Ministers recognised the project is urgent as households’ public service institutions need to immediately benefit from support in the form of reduced heat charges amid the increase in fuel prices,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a letter attached to the draft.

Under the draft law, if the prices in a district heating system rise by more than 40% compared with prices on Sept. 30 2022, energy companies will receive compensation so this is not passed on to customers.

If the measure becomes law it would be financed using money from a fund set up to aid businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The money in this fund has been raised using bonds issued by state fund PFR and state development bank BGK.

Poland had in 2022 pledged to limit the increase in heating bills to 40%, but some consumers have received bills with price increases topping 100%.

($1 = 4.3474 zlotys)

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