Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd has said projected gas price hikes this winter highlight the need to move away from fossil fuels towards a carbon neutral society.
The Upper Bann MLA was speaking after the Utility Regulator said households and businesses are facing substantially higher gas bills this winter.
John O’Dowd said:
“This price increase on the back of electricity prices already increasing this year, could not have come at a worse time for struggling workers and families already dealing with the costs of the pandemic.
“As ever, it is those in fuel poverty, including older people, households with babies and young children, adults with disabilities and people living with long-term health conditions, who are most at risk from this type of hike.
“These prices hikes highlight why we need to move away from fossil fuels.
“The supplies of renewable energy can be tracked and predicted, however, the price of fossil fuels are extremely volatile and driven by unpredictable global conditions.
“A Just Transition to a carbon neutral society, through initiatives like a major retrofitting programme to ensure nobody is left behind, is the only way we can address these issues permanently and fairly.
“We need investment in renewable alternatives which are better for the environment, can create thousands of new jobs and produce sustainable and stable energy.”