SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has called for a cap on the profits of energy companies.
Ms McLaughlin was speaking after the SDLP launched its energy costs action plan (ECAP) this week.
Included in the plan is a proposal to introduce a ceiling to cap energy companies' profits above a certain point.
Currently energy supply companies are allowed a profit margin of 2%, but the SDLP is proposing this be reduced after a set profit threshold is achieved.
Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:
“While 2% may seem like a fairly stringent profit cap, if energy companies are making millions from customers then it will still be a huge amount. Given the pressures facing people across the North this winter it is not right that these companies make huge profits, while customers suffer.
“We are calling on the Department for the Economy and the Utility Regulator to immediately work with the British government and UK Competition and Markets Authority to agree a profits ceiling above which the 2% profit margin will reduce. This will stop companies being incentivised to raise consumer charges even higher.
“We need radical action to protect people who are struggling to heat their homes this Christmas. The SDLP’s plan includes a number of proposals to get people through this difficult winter period, but more importantly it includes measures like the profits cap which will ensure we never end up in this position again. While others are to failing to show leadership, the SDLP is determined to step up and get things done for local people who have been ignored by the communities and economy ministers, who should be taking action.”