Cllr Lawther said: “This news must now mean that we should seriously look at increasing the amount of electricity that is generated from renewable energy. Northern Ireland is in an optimum place to be of benefit from wind and tidal power.
“Alternative energy would also go towards reducing our carbon emissions. This would be especially good news following the refusal by the Environment Minister Arlene Foster to establish an independent Environmental Protection Agency that would have reduced pollution.
“This price rise will no doubt lead to individual people investing in alternative energy themselves such as small wind turbines or solar panels. But grants must be in place so people can easily get hold of solar panels or wind turbines. We have had a stop start process of grants recently with local companies not knowing if they will be able to get hold of them. So there must be stability in the allocation of grants for local companies to be able to meet demand.”