Exemptions from costly policy measures are frequently applied to alleviate financial burdens to specific market participants. Using a stated-choice experiment with around 6,000 German household heads, we test how exemptions for lowincome households and energy-intensive companies influence the political acceptability of additional cost for the promotion of renewable energies. We find that the support for the policy is substantially higher when low-income households are exempt rather than the industry. Introducing exemptions for low-income households on top of existing exemptions for the industry increases the acceptability of the policy. We show that the support for exemptions as one example of distributional policy design is associated with individual behavioral measures like inequality aversion and fairness perceptions.