Energy bills – Gas and heating costs in Poland

The heating cost in Poland for a single-family house can range from 60% to 80% of the monthly building’s total running costs. No wonder then that we are looking for an economical and at the same time comfortable heating system. More and more people decide to install heating system powered by gas. It is a practical solution with a good price-quality ratio. Such installations are also used on a bigger scale in modern blocks of flats. But what is the quality/price trend here? This is a second article from series about the bills, as a follow up with electric energy, which you can find here. Today I would like to stay focus on the following topics:

From Coal to Gas – a pinch of statistics

On the base of statistics from GUS – Central Statistical Office, from November 2020, I will present the percentage of heating systems used in polish households:

  • 40.3% Poles use network heat (available in blocks of flats),
  • 33% Poles chose hard coal,
  • 13.1 Poles decided to use gas,
  • 8.7% Poles were heated by firewood,
  • 2.6% Poles used electric heating.

This 40.3% are the big heating plants and combined heat/power plants which in majority of cases are powered by hard coal anyway (source). This actually means, that our graph supposed to look like this:

  • 63.5% hard cole
  • 16.5% gas
  • 12% firewood
  • 5.4% oil
  • 2.6% electric heating

Since every single person who lives in Poland, knows about “Smog” in a big cities and all disadvantages of hard coal, I don’t want to get deeper into this subject. Except lowest price of installation and lowest fuel price itself for heating our homes (which is also relative), I do not see any other advantages of a hard coal. This is also the reason why people who choose to build new house nowadays, are choosing gas as main source of a heat at home. But is this the best choice?

Future of a “Blue Fuel” – Heating cost in Poland

Heating cost in Poland
Heating cost in Poland

Both, gas and coal are mine fuels. Despite all the advantages and whole dominance as we talk about ease of use and being environmentally friendly, gas is also a fuel, which is not renewable resource. We also need to take into the consideration, that majority of this liquid fuel is constantly imported from our eastern neighbors. Based on the “Parkiet’s” publication from December 2020, this situation will be changed in 2024, since Poland will not extend contract with Russia for gas supply. Official plan for it from 2024, claims to sign a contract for the gas delivery from Baltic Pipe (Norway) combined with Lithuania and Slovakia. There is one more important event planned for 2024 related with “blue fuel”.

As we can read on official gov URE (Urząd Regulacji Energetyki) / ERO (The energy regulatory office) site, 1st January 2024, is a date, when the gas prices for households will be exempt from the tariffication process by the President of the ERO. What does this mean for us? Portal claims 100% (!) increase of gas price from 2024. On the other hand, verdict from fake hunters clearly says that such increase from one day to another, is a fake. However, we can expect noticeable increase year by year, since households of our European neighbors from behind of a western border are paying almost doubled value of our price already. So, as we talk about price, why do we count gas usage in kWh, not m3?

How do we count gas consumption – m3 to kWh?

Looking at the gas suppliers price lists, you can see that the prices from 2014 are given not in 1 m3, but 1 kWh counted on the base of conversion factor. Why? Because it is more accurate. Gas from different sources has a different calorific value. Actually, it is a system which allows to measure “a valuable gas content in a gas”. The new system is to be more beneficial for the recipients. It is a pity that it is also much more complicated to calculate. So, the formula looks like this:

Gas intake in m3 x conversion factor = amount of energy consumed in kWh

200 m3 x 10.8 = 2160 kWh

Example in kWh of 200m3 with avarage conversion

Of course, you need to know what the value of conversion factor. I will support myself with quote from another blog:

The conversion factor is the quotient of the arithmetic mean value of the calorific value for the past months of the billing period and the value 3.6. The heat of combustion is simply the calorific value of the fuel that is delivered to the home, expressed in MJ / m3. The average high-methane natural gas is 39 MJ / m3.

Source in Polish:

So, the average of conversion factor for regular household equals 10.8. Higher or lower value means respectively more or less caloric gas. Value between 10.8 and 11.3 is the most wanted. But how can we count the average gas consumption per household?

Average gas consumption per household

Avarage gas consumption in Poland
Avarage gas consumption in Poland

Buildings heating cost in Poland depend on three basic parameters and fourth which is optional. The size of the building, specifics of the heating system and the degree of thermal insulation of the building and the weather. Harsher winter equlas higher need for heat at home. The annual demand for thermal energy in uninsulated old houses can be as much as 200 kWh / m². This is a very high value, which translates into a noticeable increase in heating energy costs.

The demand for heating energy can be effectively reduced by insulating the building and installing good-quality windows. The demand for thermal energy in insulated buildings drops to approx. 110kWh / . Modern energy-efficient buildings need even less energy. Their annual heating energy demand is approx. 50kWh / . Passive buildings are new on the Polish market and they enjoy growing interest. According to common standards, the annual demand for thermal energy in this type of buildings is a maximum of 15kWh / m2. This is over 10 times less (!) than in the case of old, uninsulated properties.

Examples for calculation

Let’s work on an example here. 120 m2 which is well insulated and requires 90kWh / m2. The average gross cost of a gas for kWh equals 0.18 zł. In case of a m3, price equals 2.08 zł gross. This is a price from April 2021. What is the annual heating cost in Poland for such building?

120 m2 x 90kWh x 0.18 zł = 1944 zł

Annual cost of heating in case of gas for average private household

1944 zł gross per year. What happens if would consider for the same calculation 120 m2 old type of uninsulated house with heat consumption around 200 kWh / m2 and confront it with newest type of passive building (15kWh / m2) with the same amount of m2?

120 m2 x 200kWh x 0.18 zł = 4320 zł

120 m2 x 15kWh x 0.18 zł = 324 zł

Annual heating cost of old type uninsulated house vs passive building

I am pretty sure, that everyone knew, what would be the result of such calculation. But seeing such numbers and having a possibility to compare costs of an annual heating makes the impact. We will come back to it in a summary. At this point, let’s have a look on energy tariffs from this liquid petrol.


Situation in case of a gas is different than in case of electric energy – we can’t choose the main tariff which we want. It does depend on the annual kWh usage.

  • W-1 – maximum annual consumption does not exceed 3,350 kWh – this group most often includes customers who only use gas cookers;
  • W-2 – consumers in this tariff consume from 3,350 kWh to 13,350 kWh annually – this group includes people who use gas stoves and gas stoves to heat water.
  • W-3 – customers in this tariff consume from 13,350 kWh to 88,900 kWh annually – this group includes people who use gas cookers, gas stoves and central heating stoves.
  • W-4 – consumption over 88,900 kWh per year whcih applies to many gas appliances.

However, the above tariffs are also available in various other variants, for example PGNiG offers its customers the variants W-1.1, W-1.2, W-12T. The tariff groups differ in the number of meter readings during the contractual year and number of invoices. Number behind the dot gives us the information about yearly meter readings. A change in the tariff group is possible once in 12 months. So actually, we can’t change much more than the number of settlements per year. But we can impact the usage of heating energy. And this is the moment, where I would like to go to summary of this article.

Summary of Heating cost in Poland

Taking into the consideration, all facts above, we can clearly say that the blue fuel is better alternative than the hard coal. But not the best. Since both fuels are mine fuels, their deposits will run out one day or another. Also, the price of this fuel from 2024 is in question. It is almost impossible to predict what will happen within next few years, especially when photovoltaic and heat pump markets are growing so fast.

From my point of view, on this particular moment, the best what we can do in order to reduce the heating energy usage, is to improve insulation of the buildings where we live. Only by this, we can save from 50% up to 90% of heating cost, regardless energy source which you use in order to heat up your household. Saying this, I would like to remind, that any thermo modernization changes made for your home can be deducted from your tax PIT statement (more details on my blog – click here), under Thermo modernization relief conditions (Ulga Termomodernizacyjna). What do you think about it?

Would you like to read more publications about “Home” on my blog? Click here. You can also get to main “Table of content“, which is available here. Do you want to stay in touch and get updates about new posts? Subscribe now.;;;;;;



Baz · 24/04/2021 at 16:41

Have you any information regarding solar panels, and government subsidies ?

    Mateusz · 26/04/2021 at 06:34

    Hi Baz – actually, not much yet. New program “Mój Prąd 2021” supposed to be released somewhere during vacation. In addition, we have a possibility to have a part of investment back with our PIT declaration. I will prepare separate post dedicated to solar panels and it’s subsidies, as “Mój Prąd 2021” will be officially enrolled.

Baz · 04/05/2021 at 13:53

That’s great, thank you.

Eddy Winko · 10/02/2022 at 14:06

It is interesting to read, especially given the rise in prices recently, I don’t have gas so I don’t know how much the tariff has increased, but I can tell you that as someone who burns wood for heating I spent 2800 zloty last year and have had a quote for the same quantity of wood again this year of 3300 zloty. A good choice even if it was more luck than judgement 🙂 (the house is 260m2)

Keith · 11/02/2022 at 14:57

Price increases in different fuels

Laura · 07/04/2022 at 09:42

Thank you for this article, I am considering renting a flat, 50m2 in an old hourse with gas heating which actually makes me wonder if that would be a good choice? I still cant imagine how big the bill will be in winter, but considering that the payment is every two months, maybe that help my wallet, though I dont know if thats the way happening everywhere,

    Mateusz · 26/04/2022 at 23:38

    Hi Laura,

    I would recommend to ask the landlord of a flat, what was the average monthly/annual cost of a gas for previous year, taking into the consideration the temperature which previous tenant had during the Winter. Ask as well, what is the total amount of gas used that time. You can multiply it by your current rate. This will give an idea about expected yearly cost of a gas. About payments every two months – it is normal. I am also paying it the same way. This allows me to reduce a shock coming from much higher bills during the Winter, comparing to the Summer period. Still, if the cost would be too high for you, than the beginning of the Summer time is one of the best moments to look for an another apartment. Students are coming back to the family homes, what increases the possibility for finding a better offer.

Gas and Coal heating in Poland - Blog for Expats living in Poland · 16/12/2022 at 08:02

[…] It should be known that the coal for heating houses, as I have already mentioned about it here (click), is used by about 60% of the population living in Poland. The war in Ukraine and the embargo on […]

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