Local DUP MLA Paul Frew has welcomed the ETI Committee’s report on electricity prices believing it could lead the way to relieve the energy burden on business.
Mr Frew said: “A massive part of my job is assisting business in North Antrim and trying to assist in lowering the burden on them in this age of recession.
“North Antrim and in particular Ballymena punches well above its weight when it comes to manufacturing. It performs better than Belfast and not surprisingly is the one sector that sustains thousands of direct jobs and thousands more indirectly through sub contractors and component suppliers .
“What has been clear when discussing pressures with our large employers/manufacturers is the cost of energy and in particular the price of electricity. For businesses, their electricity prices are the second highest in Europe with Italy coming first.
“This is unsustainable and there has to be changes in order to retain our manufacturing jobs and assist our large employers some of which are not only competing with rival companies but also with sister plants throughout the world.
I believe this report will go some way in opening up this issue, shining a light on the problem and starting a process whereby pressure will be applied on the Utility Regulator and generators to come up with a more suitable framework for payment,” said the DUP MLA.