What to do if you’re a Bulb Energy customer

The supplier has been placed into special administration – but what does this mean and how will it affect existing customers?

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Bulb Energy, the country’s seventh-largest energy supplier confirmed yesterday that it had gone into special administration.

Ofgem is now pushing urgently for the court to appoint administrators to continue running Bulb and keep customers’ energy supplies ongoing.

The government has stated that Bulb’s customers do not need to do anything – stressing that their credit balances and energy supplies are protected.

Prices for customers’ energy bills are not going to rise under Energy Administrators, as they are protected by the Price Cap – which limits the rates that a supplier can charge for their default tariffs.

The government has also revealed that customers are welcome to switch supplier if they wish but that under an administration regime, they are likely to have the best tariff available on the market.

Special administration was put in place in 2011 to protect customers when suppliers go bust and is also relevant to other critical services including water, transport, education and more.

The process is enacted by Ofgem when it cannot use the ‘Supplier of Last Resort’ – where other energy suppliers bid to take on the customers of the failed company, with their credit balances moving onto them.

However, in the case of Bulb, Ofgem, along with the government, have agreed that special administration is a better way to protect consumers – due to both its financial difficulty and the instability of the market.

The next stage will be the continuation of supply from administrators using government funding, with the lowest reasonable cost for bills in place until the company can either be rescued, sold or customers are transferred to another supplier.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has listed the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments as schemes that can support low-income households with their energy bills.

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