The government's new energy deal: Will less choice really bring lower prices?

The government will today risk being accused of "not getting it". Its long awaited energy announcement is expected to lower the choice consumers have. Of course, what most households want is lower bills. The two things are very different.

Electricity pylons in Elton Green, near Chester Credit: Press Association

The good news is that politicians have developed an appetite for helping. We are in the middle of an agonising Autumn round of price rises in the energy sector. All the parties are signalling that they want something done, but what?

Today we should see exactly what the government is planning. The idea that's emerged centres on reducing the array of different tariffs available.

Under such a policy, it is possible (even likely) that some of the best deals on the market will disappear. The most savvy customers have spent years learning how to get the very best tariffs, stalking the changes and switching often. It seems that in future their options will be drastically limited. We could lurch from a confusing minefield of deals - to virtually none at all.

The coalition may be accused of taking the easy option. Creating a truly and transparently fair energy market is a tough slog. Simply slashing the number of tariffs is very simple by comparison.

The government is due to make an announcement his afternoon Credit: Press Association

There are lots of cars on the road, a confusing array you might say. I'm sure some drivers are in the wrong vehicle for their budget and lifestyle - but nowhere (outside of soviet Russia) - have I heard it suggested we cut the choice.

We can't judge the government's new plan until we have seen the detail. That will be released later today.

More on this story