On Wednesday the Prime Minister told the House of Commons that his government “will be legislating so that energy companies have to give the lowest tariff to their customers”.
This announcement came as a surprise to energy suppliers, regulators, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Downing Street initially struggled to explain how the policy would be implemented, while price comparison website uSwitch warned that a one-size-fits-all tariff structure could cause gas and electricity suppliers to withdraw cheap tariffs.
Meanwhile energy secretary Ed Davey yesterday pressed ahead with a scheduled speech to the CBI that ignored the Prime Minister’s plans.
But last night Cameron told reporters in Brussels that legislation was still on the cards: “We’re going to use the Energy Bill to ensure customers get lowest tariffs.”
It is understood that one proposal would involve automatic switching between contracts for customers who pay by direct debit, with the ability to opt-out of such a plan.