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A multi-criteria decision approach to sorting actions for promoting energy efficiency

Neves, Lui­s Pires, António Gomes Martins, Carlos Henggeler Antunes and Luis Dias

Energy Policy, 2008, vol. 36, issue 7, 2351-2363

Abstract: This paper proposes a multi-criteria decision approach for sorting energy-efficiency initiatives, promoted by electric utilities, with or without public funds authorized by a regulator, or promoted by an independent energy agency, overcoming the limitations and drawbacks of cost-benefit analysis. The proposed approach is based on the ELECTRE-TRI multi-criteria method and allows the consideration of different kinds of impacts, although avoiding difficult measurements and unit conversions. The decision is based on all the significant effects of the initiative, both positive and negative, including ancillary effects often forgotten in cost-benefit analysis. The ELECTRE-TRI, as most multi-criteria methods, provides to the decision maker the ability of controlling the relevance each impact can have on the final decision in a transparent way. The decision support process encompasses a robustness analysis, which, together with a good documentation of the parameters supplied into the model, should support sound decisions. The models were tested with a set of real-world initiatives and compared with possible decisions based on cost-benefit analysis.

Date: 2008
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