On Monday 22 November, Bulb Energy announced that it was entering administration. At the time of the announcement, it was the UK’s seventh-largest energy supplier, with 1.7 million customers and 1,000 members of staff.
Due to its size, Bulb will be placed into special administration. This is the first time an energy supplier has ever entered the special administration process, which was only designed to be used if Ofgem was unable to find another company to take over an energy firm’s customers.
The regulator said it was planning to apply to a court to appoint an administrator who will run the company. The ‘special’ part of the special administration process means that the new administrator must consider the interests of customers as well as the interests of creditors. If required, the administrator can also request funding from the government through grants and loans.
Will I still be supplied energy?
Yes. Customers do not need to worry about their gas or electricity supply being cut off. According to Ofgem, the special administration process means that “Bulb will continue to operate as normal.”
The energy regulator also added that “customers will see no disruption to their supply and their account and tariff will continue as normal. Bulb staff will still be available to answer calls and queries.”
Bulb added that energy supplies are “secure and all credit balances are protected”.
What do I need to do?
Nothing. Bulb is still your energy supplier, it’s simply under new management. As a result, you should continue to pay your direct debit and any bills as normal.
When energy companies enter administration, their customers are usually moved to another provider. However, Bulb is the first energy company to enter special administration. This means that even though the firm has collapsed, the brand lives on (for now).
Due to this, Bulb will continue to supply your home’s energy and customer services staff will continue to operate as normal.
Should I try to switch?
No. Bulb’s rates were already at the energy price cap, so you will continue to pay the same rate while the company is in special administration. Plus, your credit with the company remains protected. This means that if Bulb owes you money now, it will continue to owe you money in the future.
On top of this, we currently advise against running an online energy comparison anyway. At present, even the best energy deals available are not meaningfully cheaper than the energy price cap and some tariffs from the country’s best energy suppliers actually cost about 30% more than the price cap.
What will happen to Bulb in the future?
The administrators running Bulb will be looking to either rescue or sell Bulb and its assets in order to ensure that at least some of the money it owes is recovered (it’s currently thought that Bulb’s debts are around £600 million). However, even if this happens, your situation will not change. This is because you’ll still be covered by the price cap and your credit will remain protected.
If you’re moved to a different provider or another company purchases Bulb, you’ll be informed by Ofgem, who will tell you what the next steps involve.