Cost allocation in integrated community energy systems—social acceptance

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Integrated community energy systems (ICESs) are a good representative of local energy systems by integrating local distributed energy resources and local communities. It is proposed that costs should be allocated in a socially acceptable manner since there is no regulation in ICESs. In this paper, social acceptance is conceptualized from the dimension of community acceptance considering procedural and distributive justice. A fair process increases the understanding and the acceptance of the cost allocation outcomes, and a fair outcome leads to the acceptance of the cost allocation procedure. This approach adopted the multi-criteria decision-making technique to evaluate social acceptance to select a cost allocation method that was socially acceptable to local community members. The results show that our approach is unique and useful when multiple decision-making groups have to decide together upon the cost allocation method. It is able to provide quantitative results and optimal decisions from a multi-group decision-making perspective. The methodology developed in this research can be applied to any local community energy system to select a cost allocation method. Furthermore, the obtained results can be used by decision-makers to support them in the decision-making process. Based on our approach, policy implications are also analyzed to support the success of cost allocation in ICESs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9951
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cost allocation
  • Distributive justice
  • Integrated community energy systems
  • Multi-criteria decision-making
  • Procedural justice
  • Social acceptance


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