Bellona helps improve Poland’s energy efficiency plans

Publish date: December 2, 2011

BRUSSELS – Energy efficiency improvement is one of the most effective and obvious solutions for climate change challenges, especially in Poland. Polish heating and power production almost entirely rely on hard and coal and lignite. That is why Bellona was involved in the process of planning the new National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) for Poland.

Poland, as all EU member states, was obliged to submit a second NEEAP by end of June 2011 in accordance with the provisions of the EU Energy Services Directive. The Polish Ministry of Economy will submit a delayed Polish NEEAP at the end of 2011. Bellona focused its NEEAP 2011 activities on energy service companies (known as ESCOs) and on the building sector. Together with representatives of stakeholders from these sectors, Bellona prepared one report on each of these sectors, setting out barriers and recommendations for greater energy efficiency.

These were then presented to the Ministry of Economy, parliamentarians, other NGOs and also the general public. Final results were presented on November 21st during the official public consultation meeting organized by Bellona, the Polish National Agency for Energy Conservation and the Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection.

In NEEAP 2011 Polish energy efficiency activities are mainly planned to be incentivised by a new white certificate scheme and Polish environmental funds (national and regional ones). The final draft of the Polish NEEAP 2011, presented by the Ministry of Economy of the consultation meeting on November 21st includes key recommendations suggested by Bellona such as how to develop markets for ESCOs, funding mechanisms for nearly zero energy buildings and how to make the public sector lead on energy efficiency. Bellona believes that without the involvement of stakeholders, the final product would not have included these recommendations.

The NEEAP could have been more ambitious – according to the presented CO2 accounting methodology, Poland’s 2016 energy efficiency goals are already achieved – and should have better analysed the shortcomings of existing energy efficiency policy tools such as an energy labeling system for buildings or the operation of the thermo refurbishment fund for buildings. It also very unfortunate that the NEEAP is limited to the central government and that it comprises weak measurement and evaluation tools.

The evaluation and measurement issues has special importance: In Poland everybody knows that the building energy performance certification system failed and that the effects of the Polish thermal refurbishment works are highly overestimated.

However, the new Polish NEEAP is definitely step in the right direction. During the last consultation meeting on November 21st stakeholders and the Ministry of Economy agreed to create a special advisory team, consisting of industry stakeholders, to work further on implementation of the NEEAP. This will hopefully improve the actual results delivered by the plan.