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Government outlines plans to tackle rising energy bills - four tips on how to cut costs this winter

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With predictions of Arctic winter conditions looming, Britons will not be happy with the news that energy costs won't get slashed just yet - and may continue to increase in the future.

Prices are set to continue to rise because of the rising cost of gas on the international market, and now Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted the Government need to work "harder and faster" to bring down energy bills ahead of a summit being held at Downing Street today, Monday 17th October 2011, to discuss the hostile energy market in Britain.

Following the latest Ofgem report, David Cameron has in a joint article with Energy Secretary Chris Huhne on moneysavingexpert.com outlined what the Government are looking to do: "Energy bills have increased by more than £100 for most people since this summer (the cost of gas and electricity has risen by up to 18% in the past few weeks). These price rises couldn't come at a worse time for consumers who are already feeling the pinch from rising petrol prices and the cost of the weekly shop."

Regulator Ofgem published plans last Friday in which it said suppliers will be forced to have no-frills tariffs - one standing charge plus a unit charge for energy used - to make it easier for consumers to figure out which supplier is best for them. But unfortunately this won't be put into motion until 2012 and while big energy providers like British Gas and Npower expected to pledge not to raise prices again this year, it can't be avoided that people will see their bills increase this winter.

But there are some things you can do to cut your energy bills, here are four tips:

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