Bulb collapses as gas prices continue to soar in UK energy crisis
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The firm is the largest of more than 20 energy suppliers to collapse since the start of September as gas prices soared ‑ a crisis that has now hit more than four million customers. Energy regulator Ofgem will attempt to appoint a special administrator, a process to protect households when a large 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,” Ofgem said yesterday.
Bulb customers “If you’re a Bulb member, please don’t worry, as your energy supply is secure and all credit balances are protected.”
Bulb’s parent company, Simple Energy, will enter administration but its international businesses in France, Spain and the US will keep trading.
Bulb is the first energy supplier to rely on regulator Ofgem’s special administration regime as it usually moves customers to a new provider. A customer base of Bulb’s size would make this process long and costly.
The biggest supplier to collapse before Bulb was Avro Energy, which had 580,000 customers.
Instead an administrator will continue to run Bulb until it can be sold off, or its customers can join another supplier, or it can be restructured.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng can now give or loan money to Bulb as part of the scheme.
In July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Bulb’s offices and said the firm was “leading the way in the renewables revolution.” Downing Street said “robust” systems are in place to protect Bulb’s customers.
Justina Miltienyte, of Uswitch.com, said: “Unlike some of the smaller suppliers that have gone under, Bulb operated with a strong business model combined with a competitive offering for consumers.”
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