DETI Committee member Seán Neeson MLA said: “I am deeply concerned about this speculation. Any increase in electricity bills would be devastating for local households.
“I have real concerns about how this type of price hike will impact on the fuel poor considering the bodyblow they have just been dealt by Phoenix gas.
“The creation of the single electricity market was supposed to consolidate and stabilise prices but now we hear this news. This issue is something that needs to be scrutinised thoroughly by the energy regulator. There are also issues over the contracts between the electricity generators and NIE, and the watchdog needs to look into this too.
“The energy regulator and the General Consumer Council have got to get more involved in pricing matters to protect the consumer, because local households are reaching financial crisis point.”