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Thanks to subsidy programs, thermal modernization does not have to be an expensive undertaking. Thanks to energy efficiency support mechanisms, we can provide cheap and ecological heat in our own house or apartment with much less financial outlay. However, we must take into account that the process of obtaining a subsidy requires meeting the conditions of individual programs. Not everyone can do it either. We will present a cross-sectional presentation of programs subsidizing home insulation operating in Poland. It’s not only Clean Air, but also many others!

In Poland, there are many programs supporting home insulation. These include Clean Air, thermal modernization relief, thermal modernization bonus and grant, as well as Stop Smog and many smaller programs.
The most popular of them is Clean Air, where you can receive up to 100% subsidy! The support is addressed to owners of single-family houses.
For multi-family buildings, the best option will be a thermal modernization bonus plus a thermal modernization grant!

We start with the Clean Air program, the largest subsidy program in Poland. Initially, the main goal of the program was to replace the smokestacks, which turned the thermal modernization process upside down. We repeatedly and clearly point out that insulation performed after replacing the heat source will cause the new device to be oversized. This is especially important in the case of a heat pump.

Clean Air Program and home insulation

Returning to the Clean Air program, it has been operating since September 19, 2019. From the beginning of 2023, it offers much higher subsidies for warming and other investments. How much money we get for insulation depends entirely on us. The costs of thermal modernization of a building have no amount limit. Only the intensity is given, i.e. the percentage share in the net costs incurred that are subject to co-financing. But that’s not all! Income thresholds have also been changed, making them more affordable. The maximum subsidy intensities and income thresholds are as follows:

Basic level of funding:
50% – insulation of building partitions,
the applicant’s annual income is below PLN 135,000. zloty.

Increased level of funding:
75% – insulation of building partitions,
monthly income up to PLN 1,894/person in a multi-person household,
monthly income up to PLN 2,651 in a single-person household.

The highest level of funding:
100% – insulation of building partitions,
monthly income up to PLN 1,090/person. in a multi-person household,
monthly income up to PLN 1,526 in a single-person household.

The application can be submitted in three ways. Firstly, on the gov.pl website, at the commune office and at the bank (list of banks).

It is also worth remembering that under the Clean Air program it is possible to co-finance an energy audit in the amount of 100% of eligible costs (maximum PLN 1,200). However, the condition is that in subsequent thermal modernization works the scope indicated in the audit as requiring improvement should be implemented. Otherwise, the cost of the audit will not be subsidized. In the case of comprehensive thermal modernization as part of the program, an energy audit is necessary.

Pre-financing in the Clean Air program

From July 15, 2022, pre-financing under the Clean Air program will be available. A homeowner who applies for a subsidy to replace an old boiler or furnace and to insulate the house receives money before the thermal modernization begins, after signing an appropriate contract with the contractor. Beneficiaries at the increased and highest level of funding are eligible for this option.

Thermal modernization relief

The thermal modernization relief, in force since 2019, allows you to deduct expenses related to thermal modernization from your income or revenues. It can be used by any owner or co-owner of a completed house. The implementation time of the project supported by the relief may not exceed 3 years.

The deduction amount cannot exceed PLN 53,000. PLN in relation to all thermal modernization projects carried out in buildings that you own or co-own. As part of their preferences, spouses can deduct twice the amount mentioned, i.e. PLN 106,000. Expenditures incurred on this type of projects should be included in the annual PIT tax settlement.

You can deduct the relief if you have an invoice issued by a VAT payer. The basis for deduction may also be an invoice containing value added tax issued by an entity from an EU Member State. This is a big advantage of this mechanism, because the need to have an invoice for materials or services makes the trade legal.

Please also remember that you make deductions in the PIT-36, PIT-36L, PIT-37 or PIT-28 tax return. It must be accompanied by a PIT/O attachment, i.e. information about deductions.

The thermal modernization relief cannot deduct expenses financed from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management or provincial funds for environmental protection and water management or returned to the taxpayer in any form. This means that if you want to benefit from both the thermal modernization relief and the Clean Air program subsidy, you must subtract the amount obtained from the subsidy from your expenses. So what can we deduct in the context of house insulation? First of all, insulating materials, including:

  • styrofoam
  • mineral wool
  • PUR and PIR polyurethane foam
  • cellulose insulation

Additionally, thermal modernization services are deductible. When it comes to house insulation, you can deduct the costs incurred for hiring a construction company that insulated the building’s partitions.

Thermal modernization bonus and building insulation

The thermal modernization bonus is the oldest subsidy program in Poland. It was launched last century, specifically in 1999. Owners and managers of buildings, housing cooperatives and commercial law companies, municipalities and natural persons, including owners of single-family houses and housing communities, can apply for the thermal modernization bonus. The bonus is granted by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, therefore an application for a thermal modernization bonus can only be submitted to banks that cooperate with BGK.

The thermal modernization bonus is due to the investor for the implementation of the thermal modernization project and constitutes the repayment of the loan taken out by the investor. Below is a list of banks granting this type of loans. The bonus is only available to investors who have used the loan; does not include investors financing the thermal modernization project solely from their own funds. The loan value is at least 50% of the total costs of the thermal modernization project and is equal to or higher than the sum of the bonus.

List of cooperating banks:

  • Alior Bank S.A.
  • Bank Ochrony Środowiska S.A.Bank Pocztowy S.A.
  • Bank Polskiej Spółdzielczości S.A. together with associated and cooperating Cooperative Banks
  • BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A.
  • Krakowski Bank Spółdzielczy
  • Powszechna Kasa Oszczedności Bank Polski S.A
  • SGB-Bank S.A. together with associated and cooperating Cooperative Banks
  • VeloBank S.A.
  • Warmińsko-Mazurski Bank Spółdzielczy.

How to receive funding for insulation under the thermal modernization bonus?

The basic condition for obtaining a bonus is to present an energy audit. The audit should be attached to the application for a thermal modernization bonus. If the loan with a bonus is granted, the investor can proceed with thermal modernization on the terms agreed with the bank. After completing the work, the bank verifies whether the project was completed on time and in accordance with the project based on the audit findings. Then, within 7 days, BGK transfers the bonus to the account at the lending bank, and these funds are used to repay part of the obligation. The second condition for obtaining the thermal modernization bonus is the lack of serious damage to environmental objectives.

Funds for thermal modernization programs organized by BGK come from the Thermal Modernization and Renovation Fund. The amount of the thermal modernization bonus is:

  • 26% of the costs of the thermal modernization project,
  • 31% of the total costs of the thermal modernization project together with the renewable energy project.

Investment in renewable energy is understood as an undertaking involving the purchase, assembly, construction or modernization of a renewable energy source installation. This includes a photovoltaic micro-installation. The costs of renewable energy installations must constitute at least 10% of the total costs of thermal modernization and renewable energy installations.

Additional support in the amount of 50% of the costs of strengthening a large-panel building – when implementing the thermal modernization of buildings with the so-called “big plate” along with their amplification.

Thermal modernization grant

It is also possible to increase the thermal modernization bonus when using a thermal modernization grant. The grant constitutes 10% of the investment costs and increases support for deep and comprehensive thermal modernization of a multi-family building. What should you know about it? First of all, the thermal modernization grant:

increases the thermal modernization bonus – it is granted to repay part of the loan taken out for the implementation of a thermal modernization project,

  • is calculated in relation to the net costs of the thermal modernization project,
  • is granted as public aid if the investor runs a business in this building.

To obtain it, the building must be modernized so that it meets the thermal insulation requirements. This is to result from an energy audit, which indicates areas whose modernization is to reduce the demand for non-renewable primary energy. Therefore, both the bonus and the thermal modernization grant are eligible in the following cases.

When it happens:

  • reducing the annual energy demand in buildings where only the heating system is being modernized – by at least 10%, in other buildings – by at least 25%
  • reduction of annual energy losses by at least 25%
  • reducing the annual costs of obtaining heat by at least 20%
  • replacing the energy source with a renewable source or using high-efficiency cogeneration

Moreover, a thermal modernization grant is available if the thermal modernization project does not cause serious damage to environmental goals and meets the criteria of sustainable development.

Warm Apartment – insulation only for communities

The Warm Apartment program provides support for warming only in the case of investments within a housing community. The fourth part of the program offers various support options, covering up to 60% of eligible costs. Grants awarded may amount to:

  • 350 thousand PLN in the case of comprehensive thermal modernization with replacement of the heat source,
  • 360 thousand PLN if the project also includes the purchase and installation of a photovoltaic micro-installation (or PLN 375,000 in the case of using heat pumps),
  • 150 thousand PLN for projects that include only thermal modernization, without the need to replace heat sources.

The second recruitment in the Warm Apartment program ended on January 31 – now it’s time for the final beneficiaries!

Stop Smog Program

The “Stop Smog” program supports the replacement or elimination of heat sources and thermal modernization in single-family residential buildings. It is implemented by communes, but a poviat, an inter-municipal association or a metropolitan association in the Silesian Voivodeship may also be a party to the agreement on behalf of the communes. The program is addressed to local governments in which the so-called anti-smog resolutions.

It is a program aimed at replacing ineffective heat sources, but its regulations also include a provision on subsidizing thermal modernization. Thanks to this, you can apply for funding at the level of:

  • for municipalities up to PLN 100,000 residents up to 70% co-financing,
  • for communes with over 100,000 inhabitants residents below 70% co-financing,

the average cost of implementing a low-emission project in one building, and in the case of a building with two premises – in one premises, may not exceed PLN 53,000.

House insulation – other programs

In Poland, there are a number of subsidy programs that enable financing the thermal modernization of houses. If you are looking for information about local support programs, it is recommended to contact your municipal or city office. When it comes to larger programs, such as Regional Operational Programs, it is recommended to direct inquiries to the marshal’s office.

Additionally, a reliable source of information is the Provincial Funds for Environmental Protection and Water Management (WFOŚiGW) and the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW).