Tenants who do not have to pay their own electricity bills do not have a financial incentive to conserve electricity....

Irene on June 25 at 05:13AM

Explain

Can you please explain why C is right and why the other answer choices are not? Thank you.

1 Reply

Victoria on June 25 at 02:22PM

Hi @Irene-Vera,

Let's start by going through the passage.

The author argues that energy will be conserved if landlords install individual electricity meters on tenant dwellings so that tenants can be billed for their own use.

The evidence used to support this argument is that tenants who do not pay their electricity bills do not have a financial incentive to conserve electricity.

The author is suggesting that making tenants pay electricity bills will provide them with the financial incentive - that is currently lacking - to conserve energy and, as a result, more energy will be conserved.

We are looking for the answer choice that, if true, most weakens the argument.

A is incorrect because it is irrelevant. It does not matter if tenants who don't pay their own electricity bills pay more rent. The passage is focused on the financial incentive, or lack thereof, to conserve electricity. Regardless of how much tenants pay in rent, the fact that they do not pay their own electricity bills means that the financial incentive to conserve electricity is still lacking as conserved energy has no effect on the amount they pay in rent.

B is incorrect because, regardless of how much they have been educated on the potential financial savings of energy conservation, tenants who do not pay their own electricity bills will not save any money by conserving electricity as the cost savings will go directly to their landlord.

D is incorrect because it is irrelevant. The passage is arguing that, if more landlords install individual electricity meters, more energy will be conserved. If some dwellings cannot support individual meters without incurring prohibitive costs, this does not change the fact that there is still the potential for increased energy conservation in those dwellings with the capacity to install an individual meter.

E is incorrect because it is irrelevant. The passage is focused on financial incentives whereas this answer choice is focused on reasons excluding financial incentives, thereby having no impact on the argument.

Finally, answer choice C is correct for two reasons. Firstly, if landlords who pay for their tenants' electricity have a strong incentive to ensure that they appliances they provide are energy efficient then it is possible that energy conservation is equivalent under the scenarios where tenants pay their own bills and have a financial incentive to conserve and where landlords pay the bills and have an incentive to provide energy efficient appliances. Secondly, if landlords who pay for their tenants' electricity have this incentive, then we can safely assume that landlords whose tenants pay for their own electricity do not have this same incentive. This means that these landlords may not choose to purchase energy efficient appliances for their tenants. Therefore, there is the possibility that tenants with energy efficient appliances and tenants without energy efficient appliances who have the financial incentive to conserve energy may use similar amounts of electricity due to the differences in their appliances. This possibility weakens the argument made in the passage making C the correct answer.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further questions.