As it released its financial half year report today, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) raised the hopes of millions of Brits struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills this winter.
The UK's second largest energy provider announced: "If wholesale prices for electricity and gas maintain a downward trend, SSE is optimistic that it will be able to deliver reduction in prices for domestic customers during the early part of 2009."
SSE raised its gas and electricity
prices in August this year as the 'big six' UK energy companies succumbed to rising wholesale costs.
SSE customers saw the price of gas rise by 29 per cent and electricity by 19 per cent.
Since then, the price of oil has fallen considerably, which should in turn impact on energy costs, as it has on the price of petrol.
Commenting on the news, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, Ann Robinson, said: "This is welcome news indeed. However, I urge consumers not to become complacent about energy usage this winter because this is still not a done deal.
"Consumers need to be aware that the promise of a future price cut will not limit the impact of energy prices this winter so they still need to take action to protect themselves."
The SSE optimism follows reports that chief executive of Consumer Focus, Ed Mayo told a committee of MPs that he wants the energy companies to pass on wholesale price cuts or explain why they are not.
However, Mr Mayo's remarks sparked retaliation from the Energy Retail Association, which said: "Consumer Focus has no evidence on which to raise consumers' expectations that a cut in energy prices is possible.
"What we can say is that there would need to be a sustained fall in wholesale gas prices before energy companies could consider any price changes."
© Fair Investment Company Ltd