Government move to limit gas tariffs to just four

The government is to spell out today how it intends to force energy firms to offer customers the lowest suitable tariff.

The move will seek to simplify the market for consumers by forcing energy companies to offer only four tariffs for gas and electricity.

The Energy Secretary Ed Davey is tO detail the plans today following David Cameron’s pledge to do so last month.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The tariffs will be a fixed price for a fixed term and a standard variable rate, with two others based on different criteria such as payment method or whether renewable energy is a factor.

Energy companies would be forced to switch customers automatically to the lowest suitable tariff unless they objected.

The move has been controversial with critics saying that energy companies will find it hard to carry out the government’s wishes and that the moves will be cumbersome but result in little savings for consumers.

There have also been cliams that the moves will hamper competition in the market.

The proposal will be set out by Mr Davey in the House of Commons today and go out to consultation.