Financing energy efficiency in Poland

A news article on the New Europe website discusses a landmark scheme to improve the energy efficiency of Polish homes. Separately, the moderndiplomacy website announced that the World Bank will be lending Poland €250 million to improve air quality and energy efficiency.

 

Poland to boost residential energy efficiency with help from EBRD, BNP Paribas

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Poland’s major lender BNP Paribas Bank Polska (BNPPL) have agreed a landmark scheme to improve the energy efficiency of Polish homes and cut their energy bills, the EBRD said on December 7.

Poland has one of the largest housing stocks in Europe (almost 13.9 million residential units) but around 72% of the total was built using pre-1989 technologies. Around 70% of single-family houses in the country use coal for heating. Coal powers the bulk of electricity (90%) generated in Poland. The country also has one of the highest per capita rates of coal consumption in the world.

The agreement between the two financial institutions will shape their joint approach to energy efficiency and green transition in Poland for years to come and will showcase the benefits of residential energy efficiency as a more sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels, the EBRD said.

The EBRD is extending a local currency loan of PLN 450 million (around €100 million equivalent) to BNPPL for on-lending to private individuals willing to invest in energy-saving solutions and high-performing technologies in residential buildings across the country.

BNPPL has committed to providing its own funds worth PLN 225 million (around €50 million equivalent) to further support the scheme.

Private individuals can borrow funds to replace coal-fired boilers with heat pumps, install thermal insulation and implement a wide range of other efficiency improvements. Owners of single-family homes, which represent more than 50% of Poland’s residential building stock, are expected to be among the main beneficiaries of the scheme.

The joint BNPPL-EBRD initiative will help address issues such as the high energy and carbon intensity of Poland’s residential housing sector, and assist the country in moving towards a low-carbon economy by reducing its annual energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It will also contribute to objectives of the Clean Air Priority Programme (CAPP), launched by the Polish government in 2018 and designed to improve air quality in the country.

In addition, the funds are expected to improve the resilience of BNPPL by supporting the gradual build-up of its minimum required own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) as per the EU bank recovery and resolution directive. This will also be Poland’s first senior non-preferred (SNP) debt financing.

Under the scheme, potential borrowers will be able to identify typical green technologies available in Poland through a catalogue of eligible local and international technologies, which are aligned with the CAPP.

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