Upon the initiative of the Polish government, legislative works are ongoing to adopt measures aiming at mitigating the effects of an increase in energy prices caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The outbreak of the war in Ukraine has caused a severe increase in energy prices in Europe. The energy crisis could exacerbate the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Polish government has undertaken steps to counter the effects of the rise in energy prices for Polish businesses.

On 13 October 2022, the Act of 29 September 2022 on principles of implementing business support programs due to the situation on the energy market in the years 2022-2024[1] came into force. This act created a legal framework for adoption of state aid schemes in accordance with the Temporary Crisis Framework[2] introduced by the European Commission. This regulation allows the Polish government to adopt aid schemes among other things granting aid to compensate for the additional costs due to severe increases in natural gas and electricity prices or aid for the decarbonization of industrial production. This aid will be provided upon the prior approval of the European Commission.

The Polish government has also submitted a bill to the parliament on extraordinary measures aiming at capping electricity prices and supporting some customers in 2023. This regulation will cap electricity prices for various types of energy consumers, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These price caps will apply from 1 December 2022 until 31 December 2023, and could apply retroactively in exceptional cases. The act has not come into force yet, but it is expected to be passed in the Polish parliament without undue delay.

The electricity price caps prices will constitute a general support measure addressed to SMEs from all sectors of the economy. The already adopted Act of 29 September 2022 gives the Polish government a legal framework to adopt more specific aid schemes, for example addressed to  large industry enterprises in the energy-intensive sectors, which are most severely affected by the rise in energy prices.

[1] Journal of Laws, item 2088.

[2] Communication from the Commission Temporary Crisis Framework for State Aid measures to support the economy following the aggression against Ukraine by Russia (OJ C 121I of 24.03.2022 r., as amended).