Britain’s energy suppliers are expecting a government U-turn on plans to cut energy support, meaning households are likely to avoid a brutal 20% bill hike in April.

To date, UK households have been partially shielded from the rise in wholesale gas prices by the government’s Energy Price Guarantee, which limits what a typical household pays on energy bills each year to £2,500. Come April, that ceiling was due to rise to £3,000 a year.

But now, according to Whitehall sources, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is preparing to extend the scheme until July. By that point, wholesale gas prices are expected to have fallen to such an extent that a government subsidy is no longer needed (analysts expect Ofgem’s energy price cap to drop to around £2,100 per year in three months’ time).