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Abstract

The main aim of this article is to present the results of research on energy poverty conducted in Katowice and Bytom, two cities situated in the Silesian voivodeship [region] in Poland. The study attempted to verify whether the energy divide concept elaborated by Bouzarovski and Tirado Herrero (2015) has different undiscovered dimensions which result not only from the differences in energy prices and incomes between various regions, but also from other factors such as consumer behaviours. In discussions about the energy divide, this aspect of energy poverty has so far been rather neglected. The question remains whether the distinction between energy poverty levels of countries, regions, and other territories like cities is determined by consumer behaviours or only by income and energy prices. Katowice and Bytom seem to be perfect places to conduct such. The most important conclusions emerging from the presented research are: (a) low income does not affect the behaviour of people suffering from energy poverty, even though it theoretically should; (b) despite their difficult financial situation, low-income households do little to improve their situation; and (c) public policy should take into account in the spatial distribution of households affected by energy poverty other aspects, including non-income and behavioural factors and patterns of persons affected by energy poverty, which only deepen existing social inequalities rather than reduce them.
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Abstract

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.
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