Energy secretary Ed Davey is due to announce plans to force energy companies into offering customers the cheapest gas and electricity tariff available.

Currently there are a wide range of tariffs on offer to the consumer, meaning that it is often difficult to shop around for the best deal. Following on from David Cameron’s surprise pledge last month, Davey wants to reduce the number of core tariffs each company can offer to four, and that companies would be forced to switch customers to the lowest suitable tariff unless they objected.

The scheme is set to come into effect by 2014, with consumer groups and energy firms warning that it could kill competition in the sector and make some of the cheapest tariffs on offer disappear.

The proposals follow on from energy regulator Ofgem’s announcement to deliver a simpler, clearer and fairer energy market.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner