Energy Secretary Ed Davey is expected to say the industry is facing a "'Fred the Shred' moment" as consumers "see a reflection of the greed that consumed the banks".
Mr Davey will tell Energy UK's annual conference:
Trust between those who supply energy and those who use it is breaking down.
It is so difficult for people to work out what exactly they are paying for that they fear the big energy companies are taking them for a ride when bills go up.Fair or not, they look at the big suppliers and they see a reflection of the greed that consumed the banks. So this is a 'Fred the Shred' moment for the industry.
You deliver an essential public service, so your industry must serve the public - and the public must have trust in what you do.
Energy firms criticised for 'losing public trust'
Energy Secretary Ed Davey is walking an uncomfortable line by hitting out at the same firms he needs to improve our energy infrastructure.