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New duties of construction designers as part of implementing the “Clean Air” agenda from January 1, 2020

The recent amendment to the Construction Law adopted in connection with the launch of the „Clean Air” agenda provides that from January 1, 2020, the application for a building permit must be accompanied by a designer statement regarding the possibility of connecting the designed building to the existing heating network, in accordance with the conditions set out in Art. 7b of the Act of 10 April 1997 – Energy Law (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 755, as amended). Importantly, the designer statement will be made under pain of criminal liability for submitting a false statement.

The amendment to the Construction Law therefore requires construction designers to verify that the proposed building object can be connected to the existing heating network. This is due to the obligation under the Energy Law to ensure energy-efficient use of local fuels and energy resources by connecting the facility to the heating network, provided that there are technical and economic conditions for connecting to the heating network and supplying heat to this facility from the heating network. However, the Energy Law provides for an exemption from the above obligation to connect to the heating network in a situation where:

1) the heat prices applied by the energy company dealing with heat generation and supplying heat to the heating network are equal to or higher than the applicable average heat sale price for a heat source using the same type of fuel, or

2) it is planned to provide heat from an individual heat source in the building, which is characterized by a coefficient of non-renewable primary energy input not higher than 0.8 or by a heat pump or electric heating.

In addition, the provisions of the Construction Law do not provide for the obligation for the construction designer to submit a declaration in the event of notification of the construction of detached single-family residential buildings, whose impact area is entirely on the plot or plots on which they were designed. It results from the meaning of art. 30 paragraph 4b of the Construction Law, which does not require attaching to the declaration a designer statement regarding the possibility of connecting to the network referred to in art. 33 item 2 point 10 of the Construction Law. This solution raises doubts as to compliance with the goal of the „Clean Air” agenda, which is the limitation of heating options for single-family homes using outdated heat sources and low quality fuel. Therefore, one should look here for the legislator’s omissions, which will require another amendment.

Do you want to know more about the legal aspects of the construction process in Poland? Contact our Law Firm.

Author team leader DKP Legal Marcin Kręglewski
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