The news source said that the final agreement could include steps to ensure that the poorest customers receive help to find the most appropriate gas and electricity tariff, and also provide improved home insulation over the next 10 years.

This comes at a time when the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the UK prime minister, Gordon Brown, to impose a windfall tax on the profits of energy firms. UK ministers are reportedly of the opinion that the long-term solution to reducing bills is to make homes more efficient.

The TUC has expressed fears that approximately 25% of the UK’s population will be pushed into fuel poverty by the end of 2009. Average household electricity bills are expected to increase to more than GBP500 per year by 2010, while gas bills will be around GBP900, according to the BBC.