Labour Party Helps UK Schools Fund Solar Panel Installation

June 1, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. profit / ˈprɒf ɪt / (n.) – the money that a business earns
Example: The company lost profit after the scandal.

2. surplus / ˈsɜr plʌs / (adj.) – referring to an excess supply of something
Example: We will sell the surplus products, should there be any.

3. bill / bɪl / (n.) – an official document containing the amount of money owed for a product or service
Example: Our electric bill reached $200 this month.

4. reliable / rɪˈlaɪ ə bəl / (adj.) – consistent in providing what is needed
Example: Our town needs a more reliable source of energy.

5. leak / lik / (v.) – to come out or flow out of something
Example: The water leaked on the floor.


Read the text below.
The Labour Party in the United Kingdom will help schools get financial help for their solar panel installation.

The party says that using solar panels will help schools reduce their electric costs. Aside from that, they can also generate profit by selling surplus electricity from the panels to energy providers. Gareth Thomas, a Labour Member of Parliament, said this initiative will also promote awareness and understanding about sustainability.

According to a research by the environmental organization Friends of the Earth, solar panels can help schools save up to £8,000. With lower energy bills, schools can have more money to spend on books, facilities, and other school materials. And because schools generally have large rooftops, installation of panels becomes very ideal without having difficulties in planning.

However, many schools cannot afford the costs of installing solar panels, which range from £60,000 to £75,000 per 50 kilowatts. The existing regulations also do not allow schools to borrow money from banks to fund the installations. To help schools, the Labour Party proposes that this ban be lifted.

While using solar panels can be beneficial, it also has disadvantages. According to an article by Nick Gromicko [gro-mee-KOH] of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the production of solar energy may not be consistent and reliable, as it highly depends on sunlight.

In addition, solar panels contain toxic chemicals, such as lead [led] and cadmium [KAD-mee-uh m]. If they leak from the panels, these chemicals may cause serious harm not only to the environment, but also to the people in the area.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A 

·         Do you think schools in your country should also use solar panels? Why or why not?
·         What else can the schools in the United Kingdom do in order to reduce their electric costs?

Discussion B

·         Why is it important to save electricity?
·         What can you do to save electricity? Kindly discuss briefly.

June 1, 2015