After months of financial difficulties, Bulb Energy has gone bust and will be put into administration.
It is the largest UK energy supplier to collapse following an increase in wholesale gas prices earlier this year.
Bulb will become the first energy company to placed into “special administration”, meaning will be run by the government through the regulator Ofgem.
What does Bulb going bust mean for customers?
If you’re one of Bulb’s 1.7 million customers, please don’t worry. The administration process is designed to protect consumers. Your energy supply will stay secure and all credit balances will be protected.
“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,” a statement from Ofgem said.
Experts are advising customers not to take any action. You will be contacted in the coming weeks to inform you of your next steps.
Should I switch from Bulb now it’s gone bust?
No. As tempting as it may be to panic-switch from Bulb to a different provider, you’re better off waiting it out and seeing what happens.
Usually when a firm goes bust, customers are moved over to a new supplier. In this case, Bulb is too big for this to happen. This is because no suppliers wants to deal with 1.7 million new customers all at once.
A new company is being set up to deal with the change, so there’s little point in complicating things by arranging a switch yourself. If you’re in credit with Bulb (and many people are because of a steep increase in bills), this credit will be refunded to you.
I switched from Bulb to Octopus a couple of months ago and received my Bulb refund last week, showing that money is being used to pay customers back – even during challenging financial times.
Why has Bulb gone bust?
Bulb’s collapse has been expected for quite some time. It struggled to find new investment or a willing buyer in the months leading up to the winter energy crisis.
Bulb is the 21st energy supplier to go bust since the start of September, with many firms struggling to keep up with wholesale energy costs.
How many people have been affected by the energy crisis?
The energy crisis affects virtually every household and business within the UK.
Over the last few months, cheap and affordable energy packages have been withdrawn from the market, making it virtually pointless to switch providers because there aren’t any better deals out there.
The collapse of Bulb brings the total number of households affected by a failed energy supplier to more than 3.7m.
So what can you do if you’re a Bulb customer?
Sit tight and wait it out.
I promise you, there’s nothing to worry about because your money is protected and you’ll automatically be introduced to your new provider within the coming weeks.
If you’re looking for ways to cut energy costs, take a look at my guide: how to save money on electricity bills in winter.