Low emission has a significant impact on air quality in Poland. Low sources are found which lead to high concentrations of pollutants in the area inhabited by humans. The effects of low emissions on health and life in the polluted areas (Małopolska, Silesia) are conducive to radical decisions regarding the quality of solid fuels and their combustion facilities. At present, local anti-smuggling laws have been introduced in the two provinces banning the burning of the most emitting fuels such as mules, flotoconcentrates and lignite. Regional EU-funded programs for the use of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency improvement will transition to the implementation phase of the approved projects as of 2017. This is expected to significantly reduce energy consumption for heating buildings and replacing old boilers and automatic furnaces with low-emission heating devices. In the case of households, proving that the residential building has adequate energy efficiency characteristics is necessary in order to receive co-financing for replacing an old solid fuel boiler with a new low-emission boiler,. The paper will present the current situation on the regulation of the fuel market in the household and small–scale consumer sector and the proposal for changes to the law on monitoring and control of solid fuel quality. Another important issue will be significant changes in heating up to 500 kW, proposed by the Ministry of Development in October 2016. The proposed regulation precedes the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive, which will come into effect as of 2022 for room heaters and heating furnaces up to 500 kW for solid fuels. All these actions will help reduce low emissions and improve energy efficiency.
Coal is a naturally occurring solid fuel used, among others, for heating and for electricity production. Despite the development of the gas and heating network in our country, as well as the growing interest in the use of renewable energy sources, it still remains the most frequent fuel burned in local sources for the production of thermal energy. The article describes actual heating coal demand in the municipal and residential sector, with the distinction of different assortments, depending on the solid fuel heating source applied. Moreover, a subjective list of factors that have a key impact on the change in heating coal demand for this market was presented, taking the regulatory environment, global trends in housing heating and statistical surveys on the preferences for individual heat sources replacement into account. The confrontation of observed phenomena allowed for possible scenarios of changes in the demand for heating coal with the prospect until 2030, broken down into its individual assortments to be elaborated.