Energy advice for every Bulb customer after supplier goes into administration

By Linda Howard

Energy supplier Bulb has been put into special administration, but will continue to supply its 1.7 million customers as normal.

The company's exit from the market comes following the collapse of more than 22 suppliers since the start of the year amid the soaring price of wholesale gas. Bulb said it would be placed into special administration - a process designed to protect customers when a large energy supplier can no longer trade.

Ofgem, with the UK Government’s consent, intends to apply urgently to the court to appoint Energy Administrators to continue running Bulb. During this process, customers will not see any difference in their energy supplies and will not need to worry about their energy being cut off.

But what happens with your bills and your credit balance, and are more suppliers close to collapse?

Below is everything you need to know.

Will I get a new supplier?

No, Bulb will continue to trade, and will continue to supply all of the customers it currently supplies, unless they decide to leave themselves.

You are unlikely to really notice any difference, at least for the time being.

In the long run, Bulb might sell some or all of its customers to a new supplier, or find someone who wants to buy its business, and this might impact you.

I'm in credit with Bulb, will I get my money back?

Yes, your balance with Bulb, whether you owe them money, or they owe you money, will be protected by Ofgem.

If you switch supplier - which is not advisable - you and Bulb will settle your bills with each other, depending on who owes who.

Many customers are likely to be a few hundred pounds in credit at the moment because energy suppliers often keep bills a little higher during the summer, to prepare for the winter months when households need more energy.

Should I switch to a new supplier?

The advice from energy and consumer experts, including Martin Lewis, is to do nothing.

Wait until you have been moved to a new supplier and if you still want to switch, then you can, but just be aware that due to the ongoing crisis, deals have all but disappeared and you may end up worse off.

But if you want to switch, nobody can stop you.

How will Bulb be different from other failed suppliers?

Bulb will still continue to operate as a business, at least for the time being.

Customers who were with one of the other failed suppliers were transferred to a new supplier, but if you are with Bulb you will stay with Bulb.

This is because Bulb had so many customers that it would be very difficult, time consuming and expensive for another supplier to take them all on.

Officials will therefore use a different process, which involves appointing an administrator to take over running the company.

Will staff lose their jobs?

This is unclear, Sky News reported at the time of the announcement some 1,000 jobs could be at risk. Decisions on staffing and how to run the business will be made by the administrator when they are appointed.

Will other suppliers collapse?

Bulb might be the biggest out of the suppliers that have either folded or gone into special administration, but it is unlikely to be the last.

After the news was released on Monday, Emma Pinchbeck, who runs trade body Energy UK, said: "We cannot rule out well run, financially responsible companies exiting the market - in addition to those that have already left."

Why are energy companies collapsing?

The cost of wholesale gas has skyrocketed across the globe.

Bulb itself explained on Monday: "The rising energy crisis in the UK and around the world has concerned investors who can't go ahead while wholesale prices are so high and the price cap-designed to protect customers-currently means suppliers provide energy at a significant loss."

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