Secretary of State Edward Davey said:
“Government stands firmly behind Ofgem’s retail market reforms and we are keen for Ofgem to press ahead with implementing these as soon as possible.
“For too long, consumers have felt the brunt of rising energy bills, and we know that people are really feeling the squeeze in managing their household budgets.
“That is why this Government is determined to do everything it can to help consumers get a better deal on their energy bills including taking powers through the Energy Bill to support Ofgem’s proposals.
“These reforms will put the consumer firmly back in the driving seat with customers automatically placed on the lowest variable rate tariff unless they choose otherwise.
“Suppliers will be required to limit the number of tariffs they offer to 4, and to automatically move millions of customers on poor value ‘dead’ tariffs to the cheapest standard variable tariff for them.
“Clearer information and advice will have to be displayed on bills so that consumers can easily compare prices between suppliers in order to switch to a better deal.
“The plans set out today will mean that all households can get the best deal for their gas or electricity no later than the summer of 2014.
“This all comes on top of the action we are already taking to help people worried by rising energy costs.
“We have made it easier for people to club together through collective switching or purchasing to get a better deal on their energy.
“Help has been made available to support the most vulnerable households, with over 1 million pensioners getting £130 off their fuel bills this winter as part of the Warm Home Discount scheme, with the wider scheme helping around 2m households.
“We are boosting the energy efficiency of our buildings through the Green Deal, so that homes and businesses are better insulated and don’t waste as much energy.
“And in the long term, we are reducing our reliance on expensive gas imports, by incentivising investment in a new generation of clean home-grown power, which will help us to keep the lights on and ensure bills are affordable.”