There has been much media speculation in recent months over the details the government’s promised “energy voucher,” designed to soften the impact on households of the lifting of temporary caps on energy prices from 1 July. On 23 May the Sejm passed the “Act establishing the energy voucher and amending some existing acts with a view to limiting the prices of electricity, natural gas, and district heat” (henceforth the Act). The legislation is only awaiting the President’s signature to become law.

I.    Energy voucher – concept, eligibility criteria, amount

The energy voucher is a one-off cash benefit available to households who meet an income requirement. Eligible to receive it are households whose average monthly income[1] in 2023 was up to PLN 2,500 (€585) for one-member households and up to PLN 1,700 (€398) per person for larger households. Importantly, households that exceeded the relevant income limit in 2023 can receive the difference between the full voucher amount and the amount by which they exceeded the limit.

The following can count as household members when calculating income for the purposes of determining eligibility for the energy voucher: Polish nationals and EU Member State citizens permanently residing in Poland (obviously), but also e.g. foreigners from non-EU countries with a permanent residence permit, tolerated-stay permit, or residence permit for humanitarian reasons. (The Act specifies that in detail.)

The amount of the voucher is PLN 300 (€70) for one-member households, PLN 400 (€94) for 2- and 3-member households, PLN 500 (€117) for 4- and 5-member households, and PLN 600 (€140) for 6-member households and larger.

II.   Higher benefits for homes with electricity-based heating

These amounts are doubled in case the household’s main heating source is electricity, however (provided that the source has been entered or notified to the Central Register of Building Emissions, or CEEB[2]), and are: PLN 600 (€140) for one-member households, PLN 800 (€188) for 2- and 3-member households, PLN 1,000 (€234) for 4- and 5-member households, and PLN 1,200 (€280) for 6-member households and larger.

III.  Application – procedures, deadlines

Applications to receive the energy voucher are made to the relevant mayor or city president. They must be submitted between 1 August 2024 and 30 September 2024. The application can be submitted on paper or electronically with a secure electronic signature or via Trusted Profile (PZ). (The Act also permits submission via the mObywatel app, subject to prior implementation by the Minister of Digitisation of a relevant feature.)  The Act specifies in detail the contents of the application.

Applications must be processed within 30 days of submission. Award of the energy voucher does not require the issuance of an administrative decision, but refusal to award it does. Applicants who are awarded the voucher are entitled to request a change of the awarded amount within 14 days of its receipt. (Such a request can be submitted only once.) The voucher is paid in one lump sum by the commune. Payments will be made from 1 July to 31 December 2024.

It is worth noting that while the energy voucher has attracted the most media attention, the Act introduces more measures intended to cushion the blow for households from the unfreezing of energy prices, covering not just electricity but also natural gas and district heat. For example, it reduces the so-called capacity fee, an item on electricity bills, to PLN 0.00 for certain end-users[3].

To recapitulate, the much-trailed energy voucher has been put into legislative shape. It will be awarded per household, rather than per electricity bill payer. There is an income requirement. Applications must be submitted to the commune, not to the electricity provider.

By Jan Akimenkow, trainee attorney at law

Originally published in PMR Construction Insight: Poland, No. 6 (279), June 2024


[1] As defined by the Act of 28 November 2003 on family benefits (Journal of Laws 2024, item 323),

[2] As stipulated in the Act of 21 November 2008 on support for energy retrofits and renovations and on a central register of building emissions. CEEB is run and administered by the competent minister in charge of construction, spatial planning & development and housing. It contains data on buildings and premises, including their heating sources, such as district heating or electricity heating. Only authorised persons can enter data into CEEB. Access to CEEB and related public services is via a login screen on the General Office of Building Control (GUNB)’s website.

[3] Cf. the Act of 8 December 2017 on the capacity market (Journal of Laws 2023, item 2131)