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Ofgem takes over

Bulb Energy collapses into special administration

Bulb

Bulb is the first to go into the scheme run by the regulator

Bulb Energy will become the first supplier to be placed into the “special administrator regime” which will see it run by the regulator Ofgem.

This response is only used if the watchdog is unable to find another company to take over an energy firm’s customers. It aims to stop financial failure spreading across the industry.

Bulb is the UK’s seventh biggest energy company with 1,000 staff and the largest to run into difficulties caused by a surge in the price of wholesale gas.

Customers have been advised not to take any action and they will be contacted when any steps are needed.

A Bulb spokesperson said taking the SAR route means the company “will continue to operate with no interruption of service or supply to members”.

Justina Miltienyte, energy policy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “This signals the tipping point of the UK energy crisis. With Bulb’s 1.7 million customer base, over four million people have now been directly impacted by the turbulent energy market.

“But it’s not just Bulb’s size as the seventh largest supplier that makes this so significant. Unlike some of the smaller suppliers who recently ceased to trade, Bulb operated with a strong business model combined with a competitive offering for consumers. 

“Ultimately this demise wasn’t caused by a badly run business model. Instead, Bulb was choked off by the way the Government decided to structure the current energy market with the price cap.

Conor Forbes, head of policy with Advice Direct Scotland, said: “A major supplier like Bulb announcing that it will be entering special administration will inevitably cause fresh concern about the future of the UK’s energy suppliers.

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“But the key advice to all customers is to do nothing at this stage. When any energy firm collapses, there is no loss of energy supply and customers do not lose any money owed to them.

Anyone in Scotland with questions or concerns can contact energyadvice.scot for free, impartial and practical advice by visiting www.energyadvice.scot or calling 0808 196 8660.”

Ofgem has appointed British Gas to take on 35,500 total customers of Neon Reef and Social Energy Supply following their announcement last week that they are ceasing to trade. This follows a competitive process run by Ofgem to get the best deal possible for customers.

Funds that current and former domestic customers of both suppliers have paid into their accounts will be protected, where they are in credit. Domestic customers will also be protected by the energy price cap with their new supplier. 

For existing Neon Reef and Social Energy Supply customers, energy supplies will continue as normal after they were switched over to British Gas on Sunday 21 November.

Customers of both suppliers will be contacted over the coming days about the changes.

If customers wish to switch supplier, they can shop around but are advised to wait until the transfer has been completed. Customers will not be charged exit fees if they decide to switch to another supplier.



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