Many consumers encourage the green movement and are looking for companies that offer opportunities in this field. Some utilities companies that offer electricity and heat had attract attention to this movement in the past few years since they use fossil fuels that could be saved through alternative sources of energy or new ways to reduce existing levels of energy consumption. In fact, research provides evidence that some consumers are willing to pay a little more extra (i.e., a premium) to help the movement of environmental sustainability. The underlying assumption is that paying a little more may help in curbing the issue of global warming. Knowing the results of such research has motivated utility companies in different countries to develop programs for alternative energy and called upon consumers to support them paying for these programs.
Duke Energy of Indiana (USA), for example, has told its customers to pay a green energy premium and specified the amount ($) of electricity that would be obtained from renewable sources. Georgia Power Company told its customers that paying the premium ($54) would be equivalent to planting 125 trees or not driving 2,000 miles (3,219 kilometers) and would help bring more renewable power to Georgia.
Many of the utility companies who are offering eco-friendly options are falling short on delivering them. Some companies have found it difficult to profitably offer alternative energy sources. Others, however, are suspected of involving in “greenwahsing”. This refers to companies that make unsubstantiated claims about how their precuts or services are environmentally friendly. For the utility companies many of their claims of green power are empty promises. Rather than actually generating additional renewable energy sources, most of the premiums are going for marketing and administrative costs. Some reports indicate that less than 18% of voluntary customers’ contributions actually went for renewable energy development while the remaining went for marketing and administrative costs.
Discus the ethical issue(s) involved in the above scenario. Propose some remedial actions.
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