Can families with a Large Family Card count on preferential electricity rates in 2024?

Electricity is an integral part of everyday life and, at the same time, often a significant expense in the budgets of large households. Therefore, the question of preferential electricity rates becomes relevant, especially for families with the Large Family Card. In the first half of 2024, they can count on a further freeze in the rate per kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed.

Electricity is a commodity that has its own price, production and delivery costs. The price of energy depends on many factors and the supply is limited. However, there are protective measures in place to stabilise energy prices and protect individual consumers, including families with the Large Family Card.

The current (frozen) energy prices for households amount to PLN 0.41/kWh, which is significantly less than the level of current tariffs for energy sales to households (approximately PLN 0.74/kWh) and less than what electricity trading companies pay for energy sold (approximately PLN 0.64/kWh - the average price of energy contracted in 2023 for delivery in 2024). These differences are the result of shielding measures that protect consumers from sharp increases in energy prices.

It is worth noting that the shielding provisions this year will apply for a period of six months - from January to June 2024. This means that for this period, families with a Large Family Card will continue to benefit from preferential electricity rates.

The shielding measures introduced annual energy consumption limits for households at a preferential price. By extending the Shield Measures for six months, the government has decided to automatically halve the limits previously in force for the whole year. This means that a standard household will benefit from 1,500 kWh and a household with a Large Family Card from 1,800 kWh of cheap energy for six months. However, in the second half of the year, after the end of the shielding measures, we have to prepare ourselves for higher electricity bills - says Maciej Maciejowski of the Polish Electricity Committee.

Families with KDR do not need to take any additional measures to benefit from preferential electricity prices in the first half of the year. All that is required is previously submitted declarations confirming the status of the Large Family Card holder.

The extension of the shield measures means that in the first half of 2024, households will pay the electricity rate approved by the ERO president in December 2021, i.e. before the full-scale aggression against Ukraine began. Without the shielding measures this year and last year, energy price increases would have been inevitable and many large families could have faced bill increases of up to several tens of per cent. The costs of operating the shielding measures are borne by the electricity generation companies and the state budget. According to ministerial estimates, in 2022 and 2023 the costs of capping and freezing electricity, gas and heat prices amounted to almost PLN 100 billion. Price freezes should be gradually phased out so as to control energy price increases, reduce costs for energy companies and the state budget. The funds saved should in turn be allocated to investments in green energy sources, such as nuclear power plants and RES - i.e. offshore and onshore wind power plants and photovoltaic farms. Their advantage over conventional sources (coal and gas) is the absence of carbon emission costs and raw material costs. And these are the reason for the current high electricity prices. Rational management of energy consumption is good for the health of the household budget. Conscious energy management is not difficult, especially as the Polish Electricity Committee's campaign "Energy counts" helps. It encourages the economical use of electricity, and at one can find a lot of advice on how to reduce consumption, how to use electrical appliances and which appliances to choose in order to count on the lowest possible bills.