Malcolm Turnbull might lose the next election but his backbench wants to make sure he won't be beaten on price.
They want a guarantee power bills will be cut and money put back into voters' pockets.
Until recently the prime minister has clung to the idea his National Energy Guarantee will bring prices down naturally, without a price control.
His plan said certainty about investment rules would encourage companies to build new generation, knowing the rug wouldn't be swept from under them.
Then new generation comes into the market, boosting supply and bringing prices down.
But the coalition backbench wants more.
"We have controls on emissions, we have controls on dispatchable (power), which is your baseload," former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said on Thursday.
"We have to have proper controls on the price."
Turnbull's supply and demand solution might be classically Liberal but no one on the coalition back bench is too concerned with economic theory.
They want a guarantee to take back to the electorate.
After more than 10 years of false dawns, getting the coalition party room to agree on an energy deal can feel impossible.
But Turnbull is remarkably close. Even the 26 per cent emissions reduction target isn't causing much trouble beyond the usual suspects.
The devastating drought probably isn't hurting him in that regard.
As heartbroken farmers watch animals die and crops wither after years without rain, it's not the time for well-paid politicians in suits to tell them climate change isn't real.
Hard as it may be to believe, Australia's energy market may be on the verge of a reliability guarantee, an emissions reduction target and potentially a method to keep prices down.
It's not a done deal. Tony Abbott is still the member for Warringah and still in the coalition party room.
If he and Nationals MP George Christensen cross the floor to vote against the guarantee, Turnbull will likely need Labor's support.
Bill Shorten is walking a fine line between extracting maximum pain from the government, while also facing pressure from unions to just get the deal done for the sake of jobs.
Labor is currently considering the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's recommendation for a default price offer.
"I think that's a very well thought-out, serious recommendation," Labor frontbencher Mark Butler said.
The argument goes that doing a deal now at least gives a future Labor government a mechanism it can work with.
Because there is an element of "energy fatigue" in both parties.
The data shows the past decade of constant policy change and politicisation of the energy market has driven prices skyrocketing.
It's hurt businesses, state governments and voters.
Powerful unions, the business lobby, manufacturers, farmers, industry experts, the ACCC and consumer groups are telling parliament to get it done.
"Every leading industry group, every large energy user, the experts on the Energy Security Board, all of them are of the same mind: that we need to get the National Energy Guarantee established," Turnbull said on Thursday.
If the prime minister can close the deal, the election will be fought on the size of the emissions reduction target, rather than whether to have one.
Labor wants a 45 per cent target, the coalition is locked on 26 per cent.
Butler says without the higher target there will be no incentive to invest in more generation beyond what companies are already committed to.
Then again that could be a problem for a future Labor government.
Labor is consistently ahead in the polls. The latest Newspoll has Labor up 51-49 on the two-party preferred vote and it hasn't moved much all year.
But Shorten remains behind Turnbull as preferred prime minister and the election result is not certain.
If Turnbull can give Australia a settled energy policy, he'll achieve what Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard failed to do.
If he can get prices down too, then the prime minister might keep his party in the game and himself in the top job.
Australian Associated Press