BEIS has published information for Bulb’s 1.7 million customers, after the supplier entered the ‘Special Administration Regime’.
BEIS describes the ‘Special Administration Regime’ as a ‘long-standing, well-established mechanism’ that applies when a supplier fails and if Ofgem’s primary Supplier of Last Resort process is not viable.
The SAR mechanism was established in law in 2011 “to protect essential services that may otherwise be interrupted if normal insolvency processes were used” and it is used for other critical services such as water, sewerage, rail transport, air traffic control, education, postal and investment services.
The decision to place a company into an SAR is made by a court upon an application by Ofgem with the consent of the Secretary of State, which has now happened. The court appoints administrators whose role is to protect customers’ supply, at the lowest reasonable practicable cost. The government provides funding to the administrators, if necessary, to enable them to continue to supply energy to customers and manage the company’s exit from the administration. The government can recoup these costs at a later date.
The aim is to end the administration throughthe rescue of the company, a sale, or the transfer of its customers.
Bulb’s customers, including those with prepayment meters, do not need to do anything. Their energy supplies remain secure and customers’ credit balances are protected.
Customers do not need to look for a new energy supplier, although they are free to do so if they wish.
Customers can seek help with bills via:
The Warm Home Discount, providing eligible households with a one-off £140 discount on their energy bill for winter 2021 to 2022. All qualifying customers should receive the discount, even if moved to a new supplier.
Winter Fuel Payments, worth between £100 and £300, are paid automatically to those in receipt of State Pension or other social security benefit (not including Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
Cold Weather Payments of £25 are available for vulnerable households on qualifying benefits when the weather has been, or is forecasted to be, unusually cold. It is paid to eligible households for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.