In-depth Case Study of an Energy Cost Accounting System
Management accounting and the pathway to a sustainable economy are intertwined, both on an individual company level and for the economy as a whole. For a company to lead the shift to more sustainable practices, it needs to identify, assess, and implement opportunities for more sustainable processes and products. This is where management accounting can help! Against this background we propose the following final thesis project:
Several papers in the current literature describe methods for energy cost accounting. However, there is a lack of papers describing the specific characteristics and implementations of energy cost accounting systems in practice. Possible research questions (but there are certainly many more) for you to address could be: Which characteristics of the energy cost accounting system can be observed and how can they be explained? Which level of detail is established in the company’s energy cost accounting system? To which extent is data on energy cost available for the company? Which use is made out of the information generated by the energy cost accounting system? How can the company’s energy cost accounting system be improved?
This final thesis project aims to get a detailed insight into how one or several organizations are specifically conducting their energy cost accounting. Your task will be the investigation and detailed description of the energy cost accounting system. This requires multiple visits to an organization and several interviews with various staff members, who should also allow you to see the actual energy management and accounting systems.
The following literature can give you a good starting point to begin your research:
- Bierer, Anett; Götze, Uwe (2012): Energy Cost Accounting: Conventional and Flow-oriented Approaches. In: Journal of Competitiveness 4 (2), S. 128–144. DOI: 10.7441/joc.2012.02.09.
- Kaltenegger, Oliver; Löschel, Andreas; Baikowski, Martin; Lingens, Jörg (2017): Energy costs in Germany and Europe: An assessment based on a (total real unit) energy cost accounting framework. In: Energy Policy 104, S. 419–430. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.11.039.
- Mickovic, Ana; Wouters, Marc (2020): Energy costs information in manufacturing companies: A systematic literature review. In: Journal of Cleaner Production 254, S. 1–27. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.119927.
Please be aware that we neither have a cooperating company that is looking for a student nor do we have a company up our sleeve that is willing to participate in this project. It will be your task to find a company to participate or you might even already have access to a company (e.g., you are a working student, it’s your mother’s company, etc.) that is willing to participate.