The poorest customers in the UK could be made exempt from paying the green energy taxes included as part of bills.
Energy regulator Ofgem is currently consulting consumer groups and power companies on proposals for a safeguard tariff, which would mean more than two million customers could gain an additional layer of protection when it comes to keeping their lights on and their homes warm.
Now leading energy firms are reportedly preparing to tell Ofgem vulnerable customers could have their bills cut by being made exempt from paying environmental levies, meaning they would only pay for what they use.
They say this will avoid poor people paying money towards taxes designed to lower costs for poor people.
Media reports suggest British Gas has said funding environmental policies cost up to 15% of a standard tariff dual-fuel bill, while wholesale energy costs make up only 12%.
The government has disputed these figures.