Energy 12 October, 2022 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Maria Andrzejewska

Poles ‘don’t have to’ save electricity, but they do turn the lights off more often

dark-2606717_1280 editors decided to find out in what mood the Polish people are before the coming winter. As the summer came to an end, there was a sharp drop in temperature, and the heating season has crept in closer. So we asked the residents of Warsaw how they felt about the energy crisis and the winter season, which is just around the corner. Some are full of hope and humor. Others declare that they do not save, because ‘they do not have to’ – writes Maria Andrzejewska, editor at

Why high energy prices?

The WiseEuropa think tank published a report according to which energy and fuel prices for consumers from the European Union began to change in the first quarter of 2021. This was due to the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Rapid economic growth has translated-in both Europe and Asia – into a surge in demand for the energy needed to meet the resurgent needs of industry and transport. However, the production, transport, transhipment and processing of fuels has not kept up with the growing demand,” the report said. This was exacerbated by a period of low investment in the energy sector even before the pandemic. The crisis in recent years, the development of RES, nuclear power, energy storage and e-cars also contributed.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, boosted the energy transition process by about 30 percent, according to an analysis by WiseEuropa. However, according to Włodzimierz Cupryszak, expert from the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE), the Russian Federation manipulated the energy market in Europe only a year ago. “We are in the middle of an energy crisis that has affected the whole of Europe. The first signs of what is coming, we already had last year, when Russia’s actions were supposed to upset the balance in the European market. They reached a climax at the time of the invasion of Ukraine,” said Cupryszak in an interview with

The fluctuation in the price of the Brent oil barrel serves as a benchmark that illustrates the disturbances on the energy market. WiseEuropa points out that in between January 2021 and May 2022, Brent crude oil went up by more than 100 percent, reaching the level of USD 110-120 per barrel. In the last six months, the constant manipulation of gas supplies by Russia’s Gazprom has caused the price of fossil fuels to rise and fall. According to estimates, since the beginning of 2021, prices have increased from 200 to 400 percent, depending on the country. “Russia escalated the situation by restricting and cutting off supplies to Europe, unjustified interruptions. At this point, prices shot up, and gas prices were ten times higher than last year, and coal prices were even four times higher, and prices for CO2 emission allowances were also high,” Cypryszak reminded in the interview with

As a result, the energy bills for Europeans soared by about 40 percent between January 2021 and May 2022.

A poll by

The editors decided to find out in what mood the Polish people are before the coming winter. With the end of summer, there was a sharp drop in temperature, and the heating season has crept in closer. So we asked Warsaw residents how they feel about the energy crisis and the winter season, which is just around the corner.

Some of them are full of hope and humor. Others say they don’t save at all because they “don’t have to.” According to one of the respondents, he did not save by limiting the use of electrical appliances, because these were necessary for his remote work, and instead started using a nearby restaurant as his kitchen, which solves the problem of afternoon dinners. Others try not to overuse the radiators and opt for layered clothing instead. A recurring response is paying more attention to disconnecting unused devices from the socket and turning off the light “where it is not needed”.

According to the people of Warsaw the top 3 devices that consume the most electricity are: a refrigerator, TV and oven. The report prepared by PKEE confirms that the oven does indeed use up power the most. The induction cooktop is a close second, and the electric boiler closes the podium.

Do and how Poles save energy?

According to a study that investigated the impact of a campaign on energy saving promoted by the Polish Electricity Association, the most popular reason why Poles save energy is money. This is an argument for 83 percent of respondents, while 16 percent are motivated by taking care of the environment. The study was conducted on a sample of 1,200 people in two rounds, approximately three months apart in the first half of 2022.

Compared to 2021, there was a four percentage point increase in energy savings through reducing lighting use (46 percent vs. 42 percent). Another change in behavior is not leaving appliances on standby – in the first survey 14 percent of respondents did that, but in the second the figure climbed to 28 percent.

Why is it worth it?

“There is a single energy market in the European Union, and this is due to the fact that we have a de facto network of connections with other European countries and we are connected to each other in situations when things are going well in the energy market and when things are going badly. The generated energy from the power plant must be sold through the International Energy Exchange, where energy sellers for final customers buy it at market prices determined by the supply of energy from the power plant,” Cupryszak explained.

Although an individual consumer does not have an impact on an immediate change in the price of energy, experts point out that individual actions are of long-term importance. Reducing the consumption of electricity in everyday life translates into limiting its production by energy companies, and thus can stop the rise in prices. Even if this optimistic scenario does not become a reality, it will certainly make it possible to avoid the so-called blackouts, which analysts also point out.

“At the same time, the second planned action is to save electricity and reduce its consumption, because each saved percentage translates into less consumption, that is, a reduction in the amount of gas and coal burned,” says the expert Cupryszak.

In this regard, the Ministry of Climate and Environment is running a social campaign “We save energy”. “This is indispensable support for actions taken at the level of the government, local governments or energy companies,” said Minister Anna Moskwa. The campaign will include TV spots, radio shows and articles, as well as educational activities.