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Katarzyna Adamiec

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Energy efficiency is currently a very popular catch phrase. You can hear about it in media almost every day. It is good to know what all that energy efficiency is about and what EU grants you can win to help achieve it.

What is energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency is defined in the Energy Efficiency Act as the relationship between the level of output produced by a given object, piece of equipment or installation under typical circumstances of use and the quantity of energy this object, piece of equipment or installation consumes to achieve this output. Practically speaking, energy efficiency improvement aims at reducing the required energy consumption by saving energy meaning, above all, rational and optimum utilisation of it.

What kind of actions are taken to improve energy efficiency in the European Union and Poland?

Energy efficiency is one of the key elements of the EU policy. It is implemented on the basis of the Europe 2020 strategy of smart and sustainable social development and transformation into the economy based on efficient use of resources. The European Union pays a particular attention to the rational use of the existing energy resources and strongly supports all initiatives in this respect. This explains how Poland, backed by the EU, has made significant progress over the last decade as evidenced by 1/3 reduction in the national energy intensity of the gross domestic product. Achievements in this area involve, among others, energy audits of enterprises, thermo-modernisation of buildings, upgrade of street lighting, and improvement of industrial processes. Yet, despite this success, the energy efficiency of the Polish economy is still approximately three times below that of the most developed EU Member States.

Can you apply in Poland for EU grants for implementation of energy efficiency solutions?

Yes. The EU aid for energy efficiency improvement in Poland is distributed mainly by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFEPWM). This institution supports investment projects aimed at energy efficiency improvement in Polish entities, both public and private. Depending on the type of aid, an interested party may apply for a non-repayable or repayable grant (e.g. a preferential bank loan). Aid may be given for projects in the following areas, among others:

  • Energy and electrical system audits (e.g. of heat sources, heating lines, industrial buildings, technological processes);
  • Implementation of energy management systems;
  • Rationalisation of electricity and gas consumption;
  • Modernisation of industrial processes;
  • Thermo-modernisation of buildings. 

In addition to the funds distributed by the NFEPWM, potential beneficiaries investing in energy efficiency and resource-saving projects will be able to win grants from the Regional Operational Programmes and the National Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment. 

Why invest in energy efficiency?

The energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways of improving security of energy supply and limiting greenhouse gas emission and other contamination. In many ways the energy efficiency may be seen as the largest source of energy available to the European Union and Poland. The very real benefit of an effective energy system is the substantial reduction of expenses on energy. That is why it is worth taking efforts to improve energy efficiency and invest – with the EU aid – in projects ensuring economical use of energy. 

If this subject has caught your interest or you have any questions about the European grants, state aid or investment advice in Poland, please contact our consultants in the offices in Cracow, Gdansk, Gliwice, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw