A new edition of the My Electricity (Mój Prąd) program will be launched at the beginning of July. Those who installed PV panels between February 2020 and the end of this year will be allowed to apply for the grant. It may turn out that out of the planned 179 thousand new installations, which can apply to the new program, 100 thousand have been already built, and their owners will be allowed to apply for the grants. This means those who would like to use the new system should already start building their PV installations – Bartłomiej Sawicki, editor at BiznesAlert.pl, writes.
The program is worth about PLN 500 million, but the Ministry of Climate and Environment has estimated it will be more. The subsidies will bankroll the purchase and assembly of PV microinstallations with an installed capacity between 2 kW and 10 kW used at existing residential buildings. The amount allocated to fund the grants is PLN 534 000. The beneficiaries of the program are natural persons who generate power for their own needs, and who have signed a comprehensive contract that regulates issues related to feeding the power produced in the PV installation into the grid. The beneficiaries will be able to apply for subsidies of up to 50 percent of the qualified costs of the microinstallation, but the amount cannot be higher than PLN 3 thousand per one investment. The application process will be open on 1 July 2021 and will last until 22 December 2021, or until the money runs out.
Why 3 and not 5 thousand PLN as it was before? The Ministry of Climate and the Environment has explained that the cap has been set at 3 k, because the price of the PV panels on the Polish market has dropped, due to the fact that the prices on the global markets have fallen as well. It will take close to 7 years for a 4-person family to get a return on investment if they decide to build an average installation with a 5.6 kW capacity and get a rebate for insulating their house, which is almost PLN 4 thousand, as part of the existing rebate system.
Race against time
However, a question needs to be asked – if there are already over 100 thousand working installations that can apply for the subsidies from the program, may it turn out that the budget will run out already in the fall, despite the fact that the program should formally run until the end of the year? If this happens, the Climate Ministry does not rule out the possibility that the budget will be increased, or that those who did not get into the 3.0. edition will be able to get into the 4.0 program. The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚGiW) has suggested that those planning to invest in PV panels could also receive PLN 5 thousand as part of the Clean Air (Czyste Powietrze) program if they decide to replace their heating source and insulate their house . This means many multi-family houses can apply for subsidies for PV panels on the basis of the old rules where they could receive PLN 5 thousand.
Settling the previous editions of the My Electricity program
According to data from 27 June, between the fall of 2019 and 6 of December 2020, 266 thousand applications were submitted. However, about 25 thousand applicants will not receive the grant, because the budget, worth PLN 1 billion, run out. Since the program was so popular, NFOŚGiW increased the budget by another PLN 100 million. Then NFOŚGiW upped the budget for the second time by another PLN 55 million, a development that has not been widely reported. This means that the final total budget of both of the two previous editions, or rather one edition but two application runs, amounted to PLN 1 155 million.
25 thousand unfortunates will still have a chance to receive a grant as part of the new program
About 25 thousand applicants will not receive a grant despite the fact that they applied for financing correctly and on time, before 6 December 2020. This is because the budget had run out before they submitted their applications. At the same time there were about 10 thousand applications that were missing information or did not meet the formal criteria. The 25 thousand potential beneficiaries who did not receive the subsidies because the budged had tapped out, will be able to apply for the money as part of the new edition of the My Electricity program. This is why the rules for the upcoming edition say that to be eligible, the PV panels need to be installed after the 1st of February 2020. Thanks to this, those who did not receive the grant in the previous edition will be able to get it in the new one. However, according to the rules of the My Electricity 3.0 program, the 25 thousand beneficiaries in question will actually have to reapply. NFOŚiGW cannot automatically transfer the old applications, because the financing mechanism is different between the two editions. Previously, some of the funds came from the sale of CO2 allowances and NFOŚiGW’s own budget. The upcoming edition will be bankrolled by the operational program Infrastructure and Environment for 2014-2020. The 25 thousand beneficiaries that applied a few weeks before the 6 of December deadline, should be soon informed they would not receive the grant.
The rebate system is coming to an end
While the grant will be lower – PLN 3 thousand, not 5 – it still offers a more beneficial system of rebates for generating energy and storing it virtually in the grid. Everyone who will apply for a grant as part of the My Electricity 3.0 program by 31 December 2021 will be able to benefit from the scheme. The ministry has explained that EU regulations determined when the program would end, and when a new system for energy generation rebates would be introduced, so the date 31 of December 2023 cannot be changed. The new regulations are to be enforced as of 2022. However, it has been pointed out that the specific date will depend on the way the legislative process for the Energy and RES law will go. Instead of a rebate system and the possibility of using the grid as virtual energy storage, the ministry has proposed negotiations of the selling/buying price by aggregators and freedom to change the seller and the aggregator within 24 hours, which will open the access to a price comparison mechanism, or to agreements with a dynamic price. The draft project is now being discussed by the government. Social and inter-ministerial consultations on this issue have recently wrapped up.