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Joint cost allocation and cogeneration

Conference contribution
Authors Conny Overland
Anders Sandoff
Published in Nordic Accounting Conference 2014, 13-14 November 2014, Copenhagen.
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Business Administration, Industrial and Financial Management & Logistics
Centre for Finance
Language en
Keywords Joint cost allocation, Mark-up pricing, District heating, Combined heat and power, Cogeneration, Sweden
Subject categories Energy Systems, Business Administration


With the joint production of two goods, one subject to competition and the other being a natural monopoly, the threat of cost based price regulation should lead the rational producer to allocate as much costs as possible to the product under scrutiny. We investigate whether Swedish district heating companies allocate joint costs accordingly as well as the importance of these choices in terms of reported segment profitability. The study is conducted through telephone interviews with Swedish companies with combined heat and power (CHP) production, and by analyzing effects on segment profitability from different allocation policies in a DH firms. Our main findings are that most CHP producers do not allocate costs for purposes of reporting or decision making, but that they, implicitly or explicitly, consider electricity a by-product which is used to subsidize heat customers. The case study also suggests that the choice of allocation method has a substantial impact on reported business segment profitability.

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