The Tory pledge to reduce energy bills by £100 for every household faces an uphill battle as tough regulations are expected to delay implementation until early 2019, according to reports.
Industry sources told the Sunday Telegraph there is no chance the "monumental undertaking" will be ready to put in place by this winter, and even getting a cap in place by the next winter would be tough.
The Conservatives pledged to provide lower energy bills for Britain by requiring Ofgem, the industry regulator, to set a cap on standard variable tariffs, which make up 70 per cent of the market. Prime Minister Theresa May said the plan will cut £100 off annual bills for 18m households across the UK if the party is elected in June.
However, industry sources argue the controversial price cap will effectively force the regulator to agree to higher energy bills than those in place today.
“The only upside is that it will be Ofgem having to explain price hikes rather than us,” one energy company boss told the Telegraph.
May wants the bill pushed through parliament quickly so that it will take effect by this autumn, but disagreements in the party on whether the cap undermines free market ideals will likely slow it down.
Ofgem is also likely to include a consultation process with the industry, which could take up to two or even three years.