Do you have gas heating? The EU can cause problems for you

Luc Williams

In online discussions about the building “green deal”, which the EU wants to implement quickly, we will often see arguments from home owners with gas heating. This applies especially to single-family buildings that have been recently built or modernized. Meanwhile, their owners hear that from 2027 or 2028, gas will be subject to a special “carbon tax” under the ETS 2 system. Moreover, in about 15 years, gas heating in buildings in the EU will be a thing of the past. Experts from the portal are looking at the situation – among other things, analyzing an interesting map.

The past decade was marked by the popularity of gas

The increasing popularity of gas heating is reflected, among others, in the results of an interesting study conducted by the Polish Smog Alert in cooperation with the Institute of Environmental Economics. A comparison of the survey results conducted by these institutions shows that between 2014 and 2020, the share of single-family houses with a gas boiler increased from 13.5% to 23.9%. The percentage of houses heated with a boiler or coal stove dropped to 51.4% (from 69.3% in 2014). Data for 2020 also indicate an approximately two percent share of houses equipped with a heat pump.

Where over 75% of new houses are heated with gas?

However, if we look at the Central Statistical Office database, we can check the share of newly completed premises and houses with gas heating in 2022. There is no similar information regarding 2023 yet, but it seems that in the case of single-family houses, the situation has not changed much. Let us remember that the average construction time of single-family buildings in Poland has been around 50 months for several years. Calculated for multi-family buildings, the corresponding construction time is on average two years. Therefore, many houses completed in 2022 – 2023 were built by investors on the basis of permits obtained before the introduction of the current technical conditions (WT 2021). They establish strict requirements for the consumption of non-renewable primary energy by houses and blocks of flats.

The map below, prepared on the basis of Central Statistical Office data, confirms that in many Polish municipalities, over 75% of houses and premises completed in 2022 still had a gas boiler. High results are achieved, among others, in areas from Upper Silesia to Podkarpacie, large parts of Greater Poland and communes from the Warsaw agglomeration. The results for many rural communes can be approximated as the share of single-family houses with gas boilers, because other buildings are rarely built there.

Will there be a modification after the failure of the first gas boiler?

Owners of recently built or renovated houses with gas heating are irritated by, for example, the announcement that buildings will be covered by the new EU greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system. The building and transport system ETS 2 is intended to motivate people to move away from fossil fuels. For owners of houses heated with coal, gas or fuel oil, the most important change will be related to the increase in the price of heating fuel. In the case of gas, the increase resulting from the ETS 2 system is expected to be less noticeable than in the case of coal.

The increases may be more painful after 2029, when the “soft” cap on the price of emission allowances of EUR 45 will probably cease to apply. Let us remind you that the ETS 2 system will be launched in 2027 or 2028 – depending on gas and oil prices. If there is no change in EU plans, some owners of recently installed gas boilers will consider modifying their heating method after a permanent failure of the currently used device (e.g. in 10 years). This conclusion can be drawn assuming the service life of gas boilers is 10 – 15 years (depending on the model and proper servicing). Looking a little further into the future, it is worth recalling that the currently amended EPBD directive assumes the abandonment of heating premises and houses with fossil fuels by 2040 at the latest.

Subsidizing gas heating will end soon

The amendment to the EPBD Directive, which will probably be voted on by the European Parliament on March 12, 2024, also assumes that Member States will no longer subsidize heating using only fossil fuels. In the case of Poland, it mainly concerns gas heating. Recently, information appeared that from the beginning of 2026 the Clean Air program will no longer subsidize natural gas and fuel oil boilers.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.