Report Says UK Households Consume Much Electricity

August 9, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. commission (v.)
[kuh-mish-uhn] – to  give an assignment or task to someone
Example: The government will commission the organization to do a report on the country’s food crisis.  

2. residential (adj.) [rez-i-den-shuhl] – domestic; referring to a place for living
Example: The residential area was full of apartments and houses.

3. expenditure (n.) [ik-spen-di-cher] – consumption or usage of something
Example: People should monitor their energy expenditure to save money.

4. standby (adj.) [stand-bahy] – ready for action or use when needed
Example: Putting a computer in standby mode while not in use consumes a lot of electricity.

5. tag (n.) [tag] – a label that contains information of a product (model number, size, etc.)
Example: The appliance’s tag shows how much energy the appliance needs to work.

Read the text below.

A detailed report commissioned by the UK government and the Energy Saving Trust (EST) shows that households in the UK consume more energy than expected.

The report collected data from 250 homes, which were studied for a year to assess how people use energy.

The report suggests that residential use of electricity is responsible for more than one-fourth (1/4) of the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released in the UK. The study also estimates that 16% of electricity expenditure comes from standby power on devices.

Paula Owen, the report’s main author, says the study revealed the different ways people use their appliances. For example, people normally use their washing machines 300 times yearly, but the study showed that some people use their washing machines as often as three times daily.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of EST, believes such detailed data can help agencies and companies provide consumers with better advice on how to use energy, better products, and more correct information for tags on energy-saving machines. He says saving on energy would also save people money.

Environment minister Lord Taylor adds that homes can save up to £85 just by turning off appliances in standby mode.

EST energy adviser Rosalyn Foreman, on the other hand, advises people to not just turn off devices, but also to purchase less energy-consuming devices.

UK homes today have around 41 electronic devices—a big difference from the homes in 1970s, which only had around 12.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think that people in your country consume too much electricity? What makes you say so?
·         How would your daily life be affected if you start using electronic devices less?

Discussion B

·         Can you suggest ways on how to save electricity?
·         Why is saving electricity important nowadays?

August 9, 2012