Stewart Dickson MLA said: “This is a very serious hike and it will have a real impact on households in terms of fuel poverty.
“We have had very harsh winters recently and this increase in electricity prices could have a profound effect on people who are already struggling to make ends meet, and could potentially have to make life or death decisions.
“These are very difficult economic times, with household bills and the price of food at a high level, and this increase is a worrying development. I understand that the cost of producing electricity is high; however, this is a very large price increase that customers are facing.
“It is very important that we look at radical solutions to the energy question and we should be exploring how we can increase the use of renewable energy and employ home insulations schemes to help people keep their energy bills as low as possible.”