Poland invests in buildings renovation, laying down the foundations for a modernised housing sector

Poland will use Recovery money to improve energy efficiency in buildings. This is a welcomed step in a country where badly isolated homes are often still heated with coal.

In a nutshell:

  • Over €3 billion of Recovery cash for more energy-efficient buildings
  • A great opportunity to fight air pollution and to substantially improve the quality of life for citizens living in coal-heated, energy-poor buildings


The Polish government plans to allocate €3 billion of Recovery money for the renovation of buildings. The aim is to drastically improve energy efficiency in the housing sector and to alleviate air pollution.

This is an important step forward for Poland where many buildings have very poor energy efficiency conditions. Largely built during communist times, many Polish buildings have been constructed with obsolete construction technologies and are badly isolated, even when compared to today’s lowest energy ratings. Over 3.5 million among them- and more than half of all single-family houses – are still heated with coal furnaces.

Unsurprisingly, the buildings sector is Poland’s biggest source of air pollution. Every year, poor air quality causes as many victims in Poland (around 46’000) as those who died from Covid-19 in 2020.

Investments to accelerate building’s renovation, whose current modernization rate is only about 1% per year, is therefore crucial for Poland. EU cash will be used to speed up the “Clean Air” program, created two years ago, which supports renovating heating systems, improving buildings’ energy efficiency and installing renewable energy sources. It must, however, be used wisely: there is the potential risk that part of these investments might lock-in fossil gas heating.


Polish government, Polish draft Recovery and Resilience plan Polish project of RPP (2021)

Czyste Powietrze Program (“Clean air” programme)

European Commission, Impact assessment study for the review of Directive 2009/33 on the promotion of clean and energy (2020)

European Environment Agency, Air quality in Europe — 2020 report (2020)

Polski Alarm Smogowy, Raport: Polacy rezygnują z „kopciuchów”. Trzeba wymienić jeszcze 3 miliony (2021)