Mateusz Morawiecki made the declaration at a meeting with local government officials in Warsaw on Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
Energy price cap for 'sensitive recipients,' local gov'ts, SMEs
Morawiecki told the gathering that the cap on energy prices would apply to "sensitive recipients," such as hospitals, as well as local governments to make sure they "receive much cheaper electricity."
He said energy providers had announced price hikes of between 600 to 800 percent for some city governments, such as Radom in central Poland and Olsztyn in the north.
Morawiecki vowed his Cabinet would ensure that next year’s energy prices for local governments “are only slightly higher” than the average price in the second quarter of 2022, or PLN 740 (EUR 153) per MWh.
The prime minister added that next week his government would unveil a cap on energy prices “for all small and medium-sized companies, that is, those with a workforce of up to 250 people.”
Later on Thursday, Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller confirmed that the plan “to protect local governments, sensitive recipients and small and mid-sized companies from soaring energy bills” would be announced next week.
As a result of the plan, “there will be some increases in energy prices, but they will be much smaller,” he told reporters.
Distribution of coal
At Thursday’s meeting, Morawiecki also urged local officials to help the central government distribute imported coal to local communities.
He appealed for "unity amid the challenging circumstances," such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and “the multi-crisis rocking the world.”
The prime minister said: “Today, Europe is grappling with an unprecedented crisis. We’ve not seen such an accumulation of risks for decades. Russia has plunged Europe into a huge energy crisis, which it is using as a weapon.”
His spokesman later told reporters that the central government would help local authorities with the costs of distributing imported coal to households.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet is also planning to subsidise the end price of imported coal to make sure households pay “about PLN 2,000 (EUR 412) per tonne,” said Müller.
He added that this plan would also be announced next week.
"We expect all local governments to take part in the coal distribution scheme,” Müller stated.
Last week, Poland’s lower house approved a bill to freeze next year’s electricity prices for households at 2022 levels to help with mounting energy costs.
Thursday was day 225 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, inwestycje.pl