Alistair Darling has threatened energy companies with legislation if they do not work to bring down rising energy prices.
In his pre-budget report, the chancellor said UK energy firms need to reduce bills in line with falling wholesale prices.
Mr Darling also announced that energy regulator Ofgem is to monitor any price changes and publish reports on a quarterly basis, which would demonstrate the price being paid by the firms and the cost passed on to the consumer.
The Chancellor said: "If sufficient progress is not made in the next few months in closing unfair gaps in pricing between payment methods, the government will use statutory powers to end unjustifiable pricing differentials."
Jane Gatiss, PR manager for eaga, which manages the government's energy efficiency Warm Front scheme, recently said that fuel poverty remains a rising problem in the UK, which affects an estimated 5.4 million households.
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