This is supposed to be a revolution. The government is creating an IT system that will allow the collection of standardized data and information about buildings from all over the country. This is the Central Emission Register of Buildings (CEEB), which is an element of the broader Integrated System for Reducing Low Emissions (ZONE). This one started on Monday.
On the first day, he placed 470 orders for a chimney inspection and building inventory, and one stove polluting the air was reported. However, it is through ZONE that the great house inspection is to begin. We explain what ZONE is, whether it is really a revolution, but above all, who can knock on our door and why.
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How CEEB turned into ZONE
CEEB information collection started in mid-2021. Then, there was an obligation to submit a declaration by June 2022 on all heat sources by owners or managers of buildings, both single-family and multi-family, as well as farm buildings and others. We showed where we got the heat and where the hot water came from. The largest number of declarations were received in June, when the statutory deadline passed, but also in August and September, when it turned out that without an entry in the CEEB, you could not get a carbon allowance. At that time, many people changed their declaration by entering a coal stove.
Currently, there are 9 million 397 thousand in the system. declaration. Then the topic of CEEB faded away, only to come back again thanks to ZONE. This is an Integrated Low Emission Reduction System that has much more functionality than CEEB. From Monday, September 18, it is Chimney inspection reports and energy audit results will be sent to ZONE. So they will only be in electronic version. Unfortunately, the way we communicate about the new system is not ideal. We explain exactly what will change and whether there is anything to be afraid of.
ZONE. Many new opportunities for building owners and managers
On the main page we read about the advantages of ZONE and are encouraged to log in.
When we click log in, we go to CEEB, but not a word about ZONE.
If, regardless of the lack of information about ZONE, we log in to CEEB, we will get to ZONE, where a lot of new products and a big surprise, not necessarily a positive one, await us. You can log in via Trusted Profile and electronic banking.
The surprise is the lack of preview of the CEEB declaration. We have information that it has been submitted, but we cannot check how we completed it. We have asked the General Office of Construction Supervision (GUNB), which owns the system, when owners and managers will see the declarations they have submitted and we are waiting for an answer.
Moreover, ZONE has a lot of new products. Through the system, you can report a smokestack, i.e. provide information about where smoke is rising, indicating that the owner of the chimney is burning anything, and add a photo. If the report concerns a company, it will go to the appropriate environmental protection inspectorate.
ZONE allows you too order a chimney inspection. On the first day, 217 such orders were recorded. When the chimney sweeper completes the service, a report will also appear in the system. The application also helps to order a simplified thermal energy audit, but above all, a building inventory. 252 people have already used this service, and thanks to the inventory, titles about home inspections appeared.
Building inventory. Who will ask how thick the ceiling and walls are?
In August 2022, Waldemar Buda, Minister of Development and Technology, announced that the next stage of building the ZONE system will be building inventory module. It is intended to enable the collection of additional data, including: about the year of construction, thickness of wall and roof insulation, thermal modernization, average air temperature and annual fuel consumption. During such an inventory, it will also be verified whether the heat source has been reported to CEEB and whether the declaration corresponds to reality.
You can arrange an inventory yourself through ZONE, but not only that. The regulations oblige municipalities to record 20% of their income each year. buildings. Local governments defend themselves against this additional work.
– Without financial resources, local governments will not undertake this task, because it is a huge challenge for which there are neither funds nor people – says Marek Wójcik, representative of the management board of the Association of Polish Cities for legislative matters and secretary of the Local Government Side of the Joint Commission of Government and Local Government. The Municipal Office in Lubliniec calculated that it would have to inventory 6,000 PLN under CEEB. buildings, which would require the employment of six employees. They would have to be construction specialists, which would mean salaries of PLN 7,000. PLN gross. Their employment would cost 500-600 thousand. PLN per year. The local government cannot afford this. Now negotiations are underway between local governments and the government. According to local government officials, the government should provide them with a targeted subsidy for the implementation of these tasks.
On the GUNB website, the answer to the question whether additional financial resources are planned for municipalities in connection with new employee tasks resulting from the implementation of ZONE is: no. As a result, it may turn out that local governments will not want to conduct an inventory. The only thing some of them declare is verification of applications to CEEB. This will include, among others: in the Nowa Karczma commune in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, as reported by Andrzej Pollak, the commune’s mayor, on the website koscierski.info.
The much larger Kościerzyna has not yet started the inspection and it is not known when it will happen, although Grzegorz Świtała, deputy mayor of the Kościerzyna commune, told the portal koscierski.info that random inspections of CEEB declarations were carried out last year. The fact that officials will not go to the homes of their residents does not mean that there will be no inventory. The provisions of the Act on supporting thermal modernization and renovations and on the central register of building emission emissions involve, among others, building audits: environmental protection inspectors, but above all chimney sweepers.
According to Marcin Ziombski, president of the National Chamber of Chimney Sweeps, the scope of activities performed by master chimney sweepers will be expanded to include, among others, the inventory of heat sources. “We are not thrilled with this. Let us remember that the customer should provide us with such information, but he does not have to,” says Mirosław Antos, press spokesman for the National Chamber of Chimney Sweeps, in an interview with bizblog.pl. And therefore Chimney sweepers expect close cooperation with owners, managers and administrators of buildings. This can be difficult though.
ZONE with data from the ceiling
For the purposes of the article, I asked several owners of single-family houses what thickness of insulation they have in the ceiling, walls, roof and floor, and what is the condition of the central heating installation. If someone had recently built a house, they knew it. In the case of older buildings, I’ve heard: it’s hard to say. And as we read in the GUNB guide, all data for the inventory are entered based on documents provided by the manager/owner or a statement of a person participating during the visit. If there is no information in the system, you will be able to select the answer: not provided. In a word, you can welcome an official on the doorstep, you don’t have to let him into your house.
Marek Wójcik believes that residents will usually have no knowledge about the type of material used to insulate the roof or ceiling. — Most of the answers will be “no data”. If the responsibility for such data entered into the system rests with the official who entered it, the only form of defense against liability is to receive a declaration that the property owner provided it in good faith, says Marek Wójcik.
However, the most important question for building owners and managers is whether they face penalties and for what.
The rest of the article is below the video
Will there be penalties?
Pursuant to Art. 27h of the Act on supporting thermal modernization, who, contrary to his obligation, does not submit the declaration on time, is subject to a fine. The penalty is therefore for failure to report the heat source to CEEB. Judgments are made on the basis of the Code of Procedure in Petty Offense Cases. The fine may amount to a maximum of PLN 500 and the fine imposed by the court may amount to PLN 5,000. What does this mean in practice?
Neither the chimney sweep nor the official will penalize you for failure to declare. Only a city guard or a policeman can issue a ticket. The municipal police only exist in larger cities, they do not function in most local governments – they are liquidating them because they are too expensive.
– An official can carry out an inspection, but in order to punish someone, he or she must submit an application to the court – explains prof. Robert Suwaj from the Warsaw University of Technology, attorney at the Suwaj, Zachariasz Legal law firm.
GUNB confirms this with explanations. “In the case of communes that have municipal/city guards, the authority to impose a fine will be the municipal/city guard, and in the case of communes that do not have municipal/city guards, the only option is to submit an application for punishment to the court and act as a public prosecutor or turn to the police. in order to impose a fine,” we read on the GUNB website.
Additionally, according to GUNB, it is up to internal regulations whether the office should impose penalties on people who did not submit the declaration. Will officials have time to take cases to court? This is a question for commune heads, mayors and presidents.
What is important, Pursuant to the Act, a person who submits a declaration after the deadline is not subject to punishment if the declaration was submitted before the day on which the commune head, mayor or city president became aware of the offense. Anyone who has access to the Internet can submit declarations when a guard or official knocks on the door.