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How to deal with high energy prices? There are a few ways

Wiktor Bochenek
21 of December '22

The current heating season can be considered one of the toughest in several years. This is primarily due to the difficult geopolitical situation resulting from Russia's bestial and terrorist assault on Ukraine. We must all be prepared for a significant increase in costs during the heating season, which is still a small price to pay in the face of the daily destruction of civil infrastructure suffered by Ukrainians.

The commodity and energy crisis will take its toll on most of society. High price increases will take a toll on our wallets. Can this be curbed? Very often, accustomed to a certain comfort and prosperity, we do not notice certain possibilities. The same is true with heating, although we associate limiting ourselves in this aspect negatively.

Izba rozpoczęła challenge polegający na wprowadzeniu porad, które pozwolą ograniczyć zużycie energii

The chamber has launched a challenge to introduce tips to reduce energy consumption

© Izba Gospodarcza Cieplownictwo w Polsce

Jacek Szymczak - President of the Economic Chamber of Poland Heating and one of the initiators of the 20 degrees campaign - talks about how to save on heating without compromising comfort, why this is so important today and what positive effects, including health, it can bring.

Wiktor Bochenek: Why do many people not want to save money by optimizing heating?

Jacek Szymczak: People are concerned about their comfort. Meanwhile, reducing the average temperature in the apartment is mainly about reducing the level of heat when we are not at home. This has more to do with common sense, which, in the case of energy or water use, works. Then the rule applies - don't use turn it off or turn it off. Now it's time to introduce new habits when it comes to using heat. Here we need to be more vigilant, because heat is not visible to the naked eye and it is easier to forget. However, it is worth reminding ourselves to lower the temperature before leaving the house.

Jedną z porad jest odświeżenie kaloryferów przed sezonem

One tip is to refresh the radiators before the season

© Izba Gospodarcza Cieplownictwo w Polsce

Wiktor: Where did 20 degrees Celsius come from? Why exactly is this temperature optimal?

Jacek: This level was set in consultation with experts. 20 degrees is the best for our health. According to internists and allergologists, during the heating season, the temperature in the house should oscillate around 20 maximum 21 degrees. At higher than that, the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract dry out, which weakens the natural mechanisms for removing viruses and bacteria from the nose or throat. As a result, we are more vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections, and as a result, we get sick more often. If apartments are overheated, the ability to focus attention and think analytically also deteriorates, and feelings of irritability increase. We may also experience headaches, fatigue and weakness more often.

Warto zadbać o prawidłowie uszczelnienie okien

it is worth taking care of proper window sealing

© Izba Gospodarcza Cieplownictwo w Polsce

Wiktor: Should we change the optimal temperature depending on the time of day?

Jacek: It is advisable. During the day, let's set the thermostat to 20 degrees for our comfort. At night, while we sleep, we can lower the temperature to 19 or even 18 degrees and cover ourselves with a warm comforter, or bet on thermal comfort, but only in the bedroom. In other rooms, where no one is staying, it can be cooler. We can also change the temperature level during the day. When we have a kitchen open to the living room, and we cook dinner there, the temperature in the room automatically rises. Then by turning down the radiators we won't even feel the change.

Warto zastosować ekrany zagrzejnikowe

It is also worth using radiator screens

© Izba Gospodarcza Cieplownictwo w Polsce

Wiktor: What activities are among the most important elements of optimizing heating and reducing heat loss. What is the easiest to implement?

Jacek: First of all, changes should be made gradually. If we have had 24 degrees in the house so far, turning the radiators down to 20 degrees will be strongly felt. It will be much easier for us to lower the temperature to 23 degrees, and after a few weeks to 22 etc.

A lower average temperature in the house will also reflect positively on our household budget. Reducing the average temperature in the apartment by 1°C means about 5 to 8% lower heat bills. Lowering the temperature will also benefit the climate and our lungs. If we lower the temperature by one degree from 22 to 21 in all homes heated with district heating (42 percent of Poles use this form of heating today), we will save 450,000 tons of coal and emit about 1 million tons less CO2 per year. If we lower the temperature by 2 degrees Celsius we will save 900 thousand tons of carbon per year and not emit 2 million tons of CO2 per year. To absorb this amount of CO2 we need about 30 million trees. When we add to these figures the savings of users of other forms of heating, especially those burning in individual stoves, who produce the most pollution, the state of our air will be much better.

Zatrzymanie ciepła w pomieszczeniach wspólnych pozwoli na ograniczenie problemów mi.n. z wilgocią

Retention of heat in common areas will reduce problems mi.n. with moisture

© Chamber of Commerce Heating Industry in Poland

Other ways to use heat rationally, which are the fastest and easiest to implement at home, are, as I mentioned, lowering the temperature at night, or when the apartment orhouse is empty, but also screwing down the radiators in a kitchen open to the living room, ventilating the rooms briefly and quickly with the radiators obligatorily turned off, or closing the doors to the rooms we want to heat. It is also worth remembering not to cover the radiators with thick curtains or cabinets, and certainly not to build them in. It is also important not to dry laundry on the radiators. We can implement these treatments almost immediately. It takes a little more effort to seal windows, or install a radiator screen that reflects heat away from the wall, using it more efficiently.

All the tips can be found on the action pages of

Nawet tak proste rzeczy jak unikanie suszenia ubrań na kaloryferach realnie przyczyniają się do ograniczenia zużycia energii

Even things as simple as avoiding drying clothes on radiators make a real contribution to reducing energy consumption

© Izba Gospodarcza Cieplownictwo w Polsce

Wiktor: What kind of feedback do you happen to encounter in your work?

Jacek: In our social media, there are sometimes comments about the concern about the reduction of temperature in the apartment and possible resulting problems with moisture in the apartment. At that time, we explain that it is not about making the apartment colder. We convince people to keep the maximum temperature at 20 degrees, then when we are indoors - at home or at work. When we are not at home or at night while sleeping, the temperature can be lower. The walls of apartments do not cool down as drastically - when the temperature is set at 18 degrees, for example, we can rest assured that moisture will not become a problem.

Sometimes users annoyed by price increases suggest that we are only now urging people to save money, and this is not true. We've been running the 20 degrees campaign since 2020, when our research on heating habits showed that most residents overheat their homes and thus waste a lot of heat. Wasting does no one any good.

Kwestie ograniczania zużycia energii dotyczą również pomieszczeń takich jak kuchnia i łazienka

Energy reduction issues also apply to rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom

© Chamber of Commerce of Heating in Poland

There are also questions from the media - why does an industry that makes its living from heat urge people to reduce consumption. Few companies in any other industry act in this way. We argue that the heating sector has been changing and undergoing an energy transition for years. The industry is pursuing a transformation to green energy. This is a process that requires investment and time because of the extensive infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt. Therefore, before the change happens at the level of technology for heat production and supply, we urge you to take actions whose effects are visible immediately. Such a change is a change in habits, which, implemented on a large scale, can bring real savings in the form of fuel consumption and reduced emissions.

For years we have been carrying out educational activities to raise the awareness of heat users, including the youngest during Heat Lessons.

Wiktor: To whom do you direct your guides? Who can benefit from them?

Jacek: As part of the "20 Degrees" campaign, a website was created at, where anyone can learn about simple ways not to waste heat and reduce heating bills. Also, local system heat suppliers have educational materials that they deliver to their customers thus supporting them in the process of rationalizing heat consumption. We have also prepared a dedicated guide for city and municipal offices with information on how to conduct an audit in buildings belonging to municipal resources and how to easily reduce consumption by introducing specific procedures. It can be downloaded on the website.

To kwestia, którą powinniśmy również poruszać w miejscach pracy

It's an issue we should also be addressing at workplaces

© Chamber of Commerce Heating Industry in Poland

The guidebook has been forwarded to the Ministry of Climate and Environment, among others, with the recommendation that the hints written down in it on not wasting heat be implemented in buildings owned by state authorities. It is also being distributed by local heat suppliers to establishments belonging to local government, municipal and city resources.

Wiktor: If you had to sum up in one sentence - why we should limit heat loss and reduce heating.

Jacek: Rational use of heat and lowering the average temperature in the house will reduce domestic heating expenses, have a positive impact on our health, and improve the quality of the air we all breathe every day.

Wiktor: Thank you for the interview.

Ograniczanie zużycia energii to również tak prosta czynność jak zamykanie drzwi

Reducing energy consumption is also as simple as closing the door

© Chamber of Commerce Heating Industry in Poland

interviewed by Wiktor Bochenek

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