208. The following appeared in a memorandum from the planning department of an electric power company.
"Several recent surveys indicate that homeowners are increasingly eager to conserve energy and manufacturers are now marketing many home appliances, such as refrigerators and air conditioners that are almost twice as energy-efficient as those sold a decade ago. Also, new technologies for better home insulation and passive solar heating are readily available to reduce the energy needed for home heating. Therefore, we anticipate that the total demand for electricity in our area will not increase, and may decline slightly. Since our three electric generating plants in operation for the past 20 years have always met our needs, construction of new generating plants should not be necessary."
The author in this argument is displaying some contentions regarding the electricity consumption and the behavior of the residents that is expected to reduce the electric consumption. At the end of his argument, he draws a conclusion of not constructing further generating plants. The author's argument is missing some points that weaken his position.
Firstly, the author cites some surveys to support his claims. But this is unconvincing since he provides no statistical data regarding the numbers of homeowners that are intending to conserve energy. Furthermore, the word "eager to" indicates that the homeowners are not actually using an effective strategy to conserve energy. They are eager but they haven't yet applied the strategies that guarantee the energy conservation.
In addition, the claim that the manufacturers are marketing appliances that are twice as energy-efficient as those sold a decade ago, doesn't indicate the energy conservation. This is because these appliances maybe more expensive than the old-fashioned one. In this case, the homeowners may not be able to afford such appliances and they are unlikely to buy them. Moreover, perhaps as the homeowners are already having these appliances in their homes they will be unwilling to buy these new appliances. In order to support his claim, the author must add some data of the actual number of homes using these appliances in order to give precise information of the actual energy consumption.
Again, the author claims that the available new technologies for home insulation are reducing the energy consumption. He must provide some surveys to ensure that the residents are actually using these technologies to reduce energy consumption. This makes his conclusion of low- or even constant- energy consumption unsubstantiated.
At the end of his argument, the author recommends not to construct a new energetic plant since the already existing three plants are satisfying the needs of this area. He fails to consider the fact that the resident may not be using the energy conserving technologies. He is also not considering the fact that the population of the area may be increasing, as a result this will lead to an increase in electricity consumption.
To sum up, the author is neglecting some significant points which weaken his argument. To strengthen his argument, the author must cite some data about the number of houses using the new technologies in order to ensure that the residents are reducing the energy consumption. In case of proving that the energy consumption is decreasing, his recommendation of not building new energetic plant would be substantiated.
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