Bulb Energy news – Firm collapses into administration as 1.7m customers urged not to panic about supplies

BULB has fallen into administration, with around 1.7million customers affected.

It is believed that the collapse of the energy firm will cost tens of millions of pounds for taxpayers.

Providers have been struggling to cope with soaring wholesale energy prices.

According to Sky News, 1,000 jobs could also be at risk with the collapse of Bulb.

Bulb is the biggest provider by far to go under, with several other smaller firms struggling amid rising wholesale energy costs.

Since the summer, at least 12 providers have gone bust – with Utility Point and People's Energy the first of the list of small providers to go.

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  • Joseph Gamp

    What will Ofgem do with 'collapsed' firm Bulb?

    In the past Ofgem has dealt with collapsed energy suppliers through its supplier-of-last-resort process, which simply moves thousands of customers from the failed company to another supplier.

    However the SoLR process has never dealt with a company as big as Bulb. Before Monday the biggest supplier to collapse was Avro Energy, which had 580,000 customers.

    Insiders at other big suppliers have in recent months worried that Ofgem might force them to take over Bulb's 1.7 million customers, a hugely expensive process.

    It could have created a domino effect, where the collapse of one supplier puts too much pressure on an otherwise stable rival, which itself ends up failing.

    To avoid this Ofgem will now use this special administration process to find an administrator for Bulb, with the backing of Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Bulb collapse affecting 1.7million households

    Britain's seventh biggest energy supplier Bulb, which provides gas or electricity to 1.7 million households, plans to enter special administration as it was squeezed out of the market.

    The company becomes the latest and the largest in a list of more than 20 energy suppliers that have failed since the start of September as gas prices soared.

    Bulb said it would back regulator Ofgem's efforts to appoint a special administrator – a process designed to protect customers when a large energy supplier can no longer trade.

    "We've decided to support Bulb being placed into special administration, which means it will continue to operate with no interruption of service or supply to members," the company said on Monday.

    "If you're a Bulb member, please don't worry, as your energy supply is secure and all credit balances are protected."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Downing Street statement on Bulb collapse

    Downing Street sought to allay consumers' concerns about Britain's seventh biggest energy supplier entering special administration.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The special administration regime, which Bulb will fall under, is a long-standing, well-established mechanism to protect energy consumers and ensure continued energy supply when a supplier fails.

    "So Bulb customers do not need to do anything, there will be no disruption to their supply, or to current energy prices, credit balances are protected as well.

    "Our priority remains protecting consumers and that's why the energy price cap will remain in place.

    "Bulb is around three times larger than the largest company that has become insolvent in recent weeks that's why we're taking the special administration regime approach, we will seek to appoint the administrators who will effectively run it and provide energy through that system but at this stage it's too early to say what the future of that provider is going forward."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Bulb employees told not to speak to press – reports

    Employees of the failing energy supplier Bulb said they were not permitted to speak to the press when approached outside the firm's East London headquarters.

    Several employees declined to comment on Bulb's plans to enter special administration.

    Extra security staff are at the entrance of the building that houses the company to keep reporters at bay, a security official told the PA news agency.

  • Milica Cosic

    Ofgem statement on Bulb

    Following the news that Bulb energy will go into administration, an Ofgem spokesperson said: “Customers of Bulb do not need to worry – Bulb will continue to operate as normal.

    "Ofgem is working very closely with Government. This includes plans for Ofgem to apply to Court to appoint an administrator who will run the company. 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.”

  • Milica Cosic

    The steps to take to slash your energy bill

    ENERGY bills are on the rise and eating into the pockets of thousands of Brits.

    It's thought that hundreds of people are overpaying on their heating bills by as much as £246, just as they're already forking out up to a quarter more than usual.

    Take a look, and if you're not already applying some of these creative measures, see how much you could save.

    1. Replacing an old inefficient E-rated boiler = You could save: £220

    2. Loft insulation = You could save: £135

    3. Not using a tumble dryer = You could save: £60

    4. Turning your thermostat down by just 1°C = You could save: £55

    5. LED light bulbs = You could save: £35

    6. Turn appliances off at the plug = You could save: £30

    Read more here.

  • Milica Cosic

    Households face MORE energy bill hikes

    HOUSEHOLDS could face even steeper energy costs as the price cap, that limits what suppliers can charge bill payers, may be adjusted more often.

    The changes could affect as many as 15 million people according to the Financial Times.

    Plans that Ofgem has recently published reveal that the regulator would be able to raise (or lower) the cap more often than the current interval of six months.

    Households already face a blow of £2,000 in hiked bills by the end of next year, but the news means it could only be going up.

    Read the article in full here.

  • Milica Cosic

    Explained: Should I switch supplier?

    Not yet. Your supply with Bulb will continue as normal, and you're unlikely to find any better tariff out there right now.

    Standard variable prices are capped and fixed tariff deals are generally higher than this at the moment, so switching is unlikely to get you a cheaper bill.

    Miltienyte said: “Technically, you can switch suppliers, but it is worth bearing in mind that there are unlikely to be better deals available elsewhere.

    "You’re probably better off staying put and waiting for the dust to settle on the current situation."  

  • Milica Cosic

    Who will my new supplier be after Bulb?

    Normally Ofgem will move customers of failed firms to a new supplier but as Bulb is in special administration, Bulb will continue to supply customers for now

    Bulb could still be rescued by another company that could takeover customer's accounts.

    Miltienyte said: “The administrator may decide to close the supplier down in the future, and move customers elsewhere.

    "But customers will be kept informed by Ofgem and the administrators about what will happen next.”

  • Milica Cosic

    What happens to my Bulb credit?

    Any credit you have with Bulb is protected when you are moved by Ofgem to another supplier.

    This should be protected under Bulb's special administration too.

    Justina Miltienyte from USwitch said: “The most important thing for consumers to know is that their energy supply will continue to run as it always has done, and any credit balances will be protected."

    An estimated 21million households pay energy bills by direct debit, paying the same amount each month based on estimated use over the entire year.

    But actual use can vary through the seasons, as more energy is generally used in winter when the heating is on and less in summer when the weather is warmer.

    During the summer months customers can often end up paying more than the energy they use, leaving them with a credit balance with their energy company.

  • Milica Cosic

    What should you go if your energy supplier goes bust? (Continued…)

    Experts like Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert are advising customers not to rush to switch though, and instead "simply sit tight and wait to be contacted by a new supplier".

    But it is recommended that you take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you.

    Other charities also recommend keeping old energy bills and waiting until your new supplier is appointed before cancelling any direct debits.

  • Milica Cosic

    What should you go if your energy supplier goes bust?

    If your supplier folds, your energy won't be cut off, so there's no need to panic.

    Ofgem will arrange an interim supplier so you won't have to go without.

    Customers affected will be contacted by the new supplier, which will be chosen by Ofgem. 

    With the recent fall of People's Energy, for example, Ofgem has appointed British Gas to take on supplying the provider's 350,000 customers.

    The new firm won't have to honour the deal you were on with your previous provider but any credit on your account will be protected.

  • Milica Cosic

    Bills to rise from Friday

    Households will see their bills rise from £1,138 to £1,277 from Friday, when Ofgem raises the price cap – which limits how much households on default tariffs pay for their gas and electricity.

    A Bulb spokesperson said: "We’ve decided to support Bulb being placed into special administration, which means it will continue to operate with no interruption of service or supply to members.

    "If you’re a Bulb member, please don’t worry as your energy supply is secure and all credit balances are protected."

  • Milica Cosic

    Other providers have gone bust since the summer

    At least 12 providers have gone bust since the summer, with Utility Point and People's Energy the first of the list of small providers to go.

    It comes as customers who see their supplier go bust this winter could face paying £400 more to new suppliers taking over their contracts.

  • Milica Cosic

    1,000’s jobs could be lost

    According to Sky News, 1,000 jobs could be at risk with the collapse of Bulb.

    Providers have been struggling to cope with soaring wholesale energy prices.

  • Milica Cosic

    Where was the money pumped from?

    It comes as Bulb investors are no longer willing to pump more money into the firm, with debts now thought to be more than £600million.

    Regulators were on standby for the imminent collapse of the company as early as last month.

    A rescue deal was in the works to save the company, but The Sun reported that hopes to pull the company back from the brink were fading.

    One company which was considering a takeover of Bulb reportedly claimed the firm has liabilities of around £600m, which made a "solvent takeover of the company hard to envisage".

  • Milica Cosic

    Bulb seventh largest energy firm

    Bulb is the seventh largest energy firm – providing energy to one in 17 homes – but households will not be left without power while a replacement supplier is found.

    It is the biggest provider by far to go under, with several other smaller firms struggling amid rising wholesale energy costs.

    Since Bulb is so big, the regulator Ofgem cannot simply get another supplier to take on the customers, as it has done with the 22 other firms who have gone bust since August. 

  • Milica Cosic

    Bulb energy firm collapses 

    Bulb has fallen into administration, with around 1.7million customers affected.

    It is believed that the collapse of the energy firm will cost tens of millions of pounds for taxpayers.

    The provider announced the news to customers on its website, and told customers that their tariffs would not change and the price cap would still apply to bills.

    Source: Read Full Article