Increase of energy prices in the foreseeable future will result in reduction of households’ wealth in Poland. As a result social inequalities might rise. Institute for Structural Research has identified social groups which, due to the largest energy expenditures, could suffer most from increases in energy prices. Analysis of energy expenditures enables the assessment of social policies which are most effective in mitigating social costs of rising energy costs.
The need to satisfy the energy consumption needs in view of the rising energy prices will lead to reductions of other expenditure by some household groups. Data published by Eurostat indicate that energy prices in Poland, expressed in euros, are low, but in comparison to other goods and services – high. On the basis of the 2013 Polish Household Budget Survey we have analyzed determinants of energy prices. We have confirmed the hypothesis that electricity expenditures are determined stronger by household features, whereas heating expenditures – by building features. We point out that the increase of electricity prices affects mainly the households with most members, in particular large families, the changes of heat energy prices affect mostly residents of old, large houses, in small towns and in the country. Those results allow us to conclude that, from the social perspective, limiting the energy inefficiency of non-insulated buildings and social education about energy saving are crucial.