Bulb Energy has entered ‘Special Administration’: What should customers do?


Despite being beloved by many, Bulb Energy has unfortunately been another one of the UK Energy Crisis’ victim. However, because Bulb Energy is much larger than any of the other suppliers that have gone bust thus far, there is a unique legal process referred to as “special administrator”, that they must follow before they can cease trading completely. For the time being, Bulb Energy will continue to operate as normal with the help of funding from the UK government until it can wind down its operations in a safe manner that will minimize the impact on the rest of the energy market and avoid a chain reaction of suppliers going bust. There are several potential outcomes from this scenario, and in this article we plan to walk you through each of them.
Last update: November 2022

As a result of the UK energy crisis that is currently occurring, Bulb Energy has unfortunately gone bust and entered a unique legal process that is called special administrator. To help you navigate this crisis we prepared for you a guide on what to do if your energy supplier goes bust along with a page compiling all the information on the energy market crisis to ensure you stay updated on a daily basis.

If you are a bulb customer, we highly suggest that you don’t switch suppliers for the time being. It may seem ironic to remain with a supplier that you know is going bust, but staying put may actually save you money for now because Bulb Energy will remain active for now through funding received from the government. However, as time goes on the situation with Bulb Energy may change and it might become an increasingly appealing option to switch suppliers, and when that happens the Switch Plan team will be there to help!

Bulb Energy Bulb Energy Logo
Founded 2013
Client Email complaints@bulb.co.uk
Client Number 0300 30 30 635
Log in Log into your Bulb Energy account here
Number of clients 1.7 million

What Happened to Bulb Energy?

Unforunately, as a result of difficulties securing additional financial support as well as stress caused by the UK’s energy crisis, Bulb Enery has gone bust. However, because of their size and current position in the UK’s energy market, simply transferring their customers to a new supplier is not pheasable without negatively impacting other suppliers that are still active. Instead they have been entered into a unique legal process referred to as “Special Administrator”, which was a process written into law roughly 10 years ago but has never been used until now.

What does going into Special Administator mean?

Special Administrator is a process intended to minimize the fallout caused by a major energy supplier in the UK going bust. The process was written into the law roughly a decade ago, but this is the first time that it has been implemented, which in turn means that the exact outcome of this process is not completely known yet.

The key difference between this situation and other suppliers that have gone bust in the last few weeks, is that Ofgem has been able to safely assure customers of the defaulted supplier that they can be transferred to a new supplier without losing energy to their property. In this particular situation, Bulb has far to many customers to simply disperse amongst remaining competitors in the market without causing some form of chain reaction with negative consequences. As a result, the UK government has stepped in to ensure that Bulb can close its operations in a safe manner over a period of time, thus minimizing the risk of fallout impacting others.

Is the UK government bailing out Bulb Energy?

The UK Government created this legal process in order to ensure stability in the energy sector in the case that one of the major suppliers were to go bust. The Government’s role is to provide financial support to Bulb Energy in order to keep them operating until they can be safely dissolved. Though there is not any particular timeline for when we can expect Bulb to formerly cease trading, it could potentially be weeks or even months for this process to develop an adequate exit plan. It is currently rumored that this process could see Bulb remain on public funds supplied by the government through the winter season. Ostensibly, the government has taken over and nationalized Bulb for the time being, using funds collected from tax payers.

What should Bulb Energy customers do?

In the immediate future, Bulb Energy customers should continue as if all is normal because the supplier will continue to operate as it would normally for the foreseeable future. The UK government’s involvement means that Bulb will have stability for now and you will be receiving and paying for power just as you have for years.

Will my energy supply be interrupted?

For now, there will be absolutely no change to your power supply, Bulb will continue to supply you power as it has in the past. Ofgem sets up safety nets for circumstances such as a supplier going bust that will ensure you never lose power, and while this situation is unique the same standard applies; you will not lose a flow of energy to your property just because your supplier went bust.

Should I still be paying Bulb Energy?

Yup, you should definitely still pay your energy bill from Bulb. For now, through the financial support of the government, Bulb will continue to operate as normal so you should continue paying your energy bills as if nothing has changed.

Should I take a meter reading?

It is always smart to have an up to date meter reading recorded to ensure that your monthly bills are accurate, but in regards to Bulb’s current situation there is no immediate threat of being switched to a new supplier. So while it is smart to take meter reading often, you do not need to at the moment.

Is my credit with Bulb protected?

Yes, the UK government and Bulb have both states that their will be protection provided for credit that any Bulb Energy customer currently has with the supplier. As we’ve stated above, Bulb will operate as normal for the time being, so there will be no change to your credit or any debt that you have with them.

Can I switch suppliers right now?

We strongly suggest again this at the moment, there are very few suppliers in the UK that are accepted new customers, and the suppliers that are accepted new customers are offering them tariffs that have very high rates. As a result, we believe that the best course of action is to remain with Bulb for the foreseeable future.

Do I have to stay with Bulb?

No, of course you can leave for a new supplier if you’d like, but we suggest against this because it could end up costing you a lot. Remaining with Bulb will ensure you are protected for the time being by keeping you on a low cost tariff that is protected by the Energy Price Cap, which currently limits variable tariffs to an average of £1,277 per year for dual fuel tariffs and £1309 per year for prepayment tariffs.

What happens if I was in the midst of switching suppliers when Bulb went bust?

You can still switch safely, if all parties involved are able to exchange the needed information, then you will be able to switch to your new supplier without any complications.

What made Bulb stand out in the UK’s fierce energy market?

Bulb Energy was an alternative young energy supplier launched in the UK in 2013. Their past prices, plans and contact methods are all detailed below to help you make the switch! And here are 3 good reasons why you should:

  • Bulb was one of the Greenest energy supplier – Indeed, they used renewable energy sources for their electricity and offset their not so eco-friendly gas by investing in eco-friendly projects. Additionally, ten percent of their gas did indeed come from renewable resources, so that made them the greenest supplier of gas in the United Kingdom.
  • Bulb was the rising star of the UK market: – Cheap and simple: Two words corresponding to real product reality. In fact, Bulb only offered one energy plan: the vari-fair tariff. A competitive variable tariff that Bulb claimed to be 18 percent lower than others on the market.
  • Bulb had digital DNA – Bulb Energy was a young company born in the digital age. Its online customer space and tools were ergonomic and user friendly.

Keeping it simple: Cheap and Green

  • Bulb’s premise was simple: they wanted to provide simpler, cheaper and greener energy to their customers. Their energy was 100% renewable, and they are known by some as Britain’s green supplier. This had led to greater competition with other, larger suppliers, such as British Gas, who weren’t living up to the greener expectations of their customers.
  • Bulb had one tariff for everyone, so it was quick and easy to switch over.  Everything is streamlined and reflected by market price. It was a vari-fair tariff, meaning it was variable and responds to price fluctuations.
  • By investing in cheaper energy, they were able to offer affordable deals to their customers. In fact, they were so well-priced compare to other market players that some suppliers had raised concerns about the sustainability of their low prices. However, Bulb had managed to consistently provide low tariffs to their customers, and lower their prices to reflect market fluctuations quickly.
  • Bulb was committed to fighting the climate crisis. That’s why in 2019, the Bulb foundation was created. It sought to tackle climate change and support those who had been affected by it by funding environmental projects. £2 was donated to the Bulb Foundation each time a new member joined the Bulb community by switching over.

Packing on the Pounds: Bulb Referral Scheme

Bulb jumped on the bandwagon of offering their customers £50 if they recommended Bulbs service to their friends family coworkers and acquaintances. This was one of the reasons why they grew so rapidly! The scheme was still in place so when you signed up before they went bust, you received a referral link to pass onto your contacts and receive your cash.

Bulb tariff & energy rates: The One Tariff Wonder

Bulb only had one tariff for their customers. It was their vari-fair tariff that was variable and well-priced. They also had a pay as you go tariff, called their Vari-Fair prepayment tariff. Both tariffs provided the same energy, but they required different ways of paying, that’s all!

The Vari-Fair tariff

Bulb’s one tariff was very well-priced. In fact, they claimed that their tariff was 18% cheaper than others on the market. This is because they invested in technologies that keep their prices cheap, and passed on the savings to their customers.

What does it mean to be a variable tariff? Well, unlike a fixed tariff, which fixes the cost of your energy every month, meaning it isn’t subject to price fluctuations, a variable tariff involves some price fluctuation. Changes in price are simply influenced by the wholesale cost of energy that suppliers buy their energy for. They just reflect any cost increase on their end in the cost of their tariffs. You can usually see these price increases coming through. If one supplier ups their prices, it means the others probably will as well. Also, if prices are about to increase, Bulb would let you know 30 days beforehand. Of course, this also works in the opposite direction! If the wholesale price of energy drops, your energy bills would as well.

Finally, Bulb’s tariff was very eco-friendly. They provided their customers with 100% green energy from solar, wind and hydropower. Also, their gas was offset as they support carbon reduction projects.

Bulbs Energy Prices in 2021

Though Bulb only offered one tariff, they do offer several options when it comes to how you pay for energy. Indeed the supplier offers 3 different versions of the Vari-Fair to adapt to how their customers consume their energy and manage their budget.

Energy Crisis and Bulb Energy Tariff Pricing

As a result of the energy crisis in the UK, many suppliers have stopped advertising many of their tariffs, making it difficult for us to accurately display their current costs, we apologize for the inconvenience. For the most up to date pricing of each Bulb Energy tariff in your area, contact our energy experts today at 0330 818 6223

Electricity and Gas single rates

With a single rate tariff plan there are no peak or off-peak periods. This means that you pay the same rate at whatever time of the day you use energy. It’s the most commonly used tariff and often the cheaper one.

Type of energy Tariff value Standing Charge (p/day) Unit Price (p/kWh) Estimated Annual Cost (£/year)
24.007 p
20.860 p
£ 692.626**
26.112 p
4.055 p
£ 581.974**

* Prices displayed are national averages Prices are accurate as of 18/10/2021.
** Based on Ofgem’s TDCV (2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year).
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.

Remember these were variable tariffs meaning they change on a daily basis.

Electricity and Gas Prepayment rates

Prepayment meters supply energy on a prepay basis, instead of paying by direct debit or on receipt of a bill. You’re given a key or card which you can top up with credit in your Bulb account and app or in store at your nearest PayPoint. Note that for electricity charging in stores costs 0.0005 p more per kWh.

Tariff Type of energy Standing Charge (p/day) Unit Price (p/kWh) Estimated Annual Cost (£/year)
Smart Pay as you Go
28.380 p*
20.510 p*
£ 698.448**
Pay as you Go (in store)
28.380 p*
20.510 p*
£ 698.448**
Pay as you Go (smart or in store)
35.130 p*
3.995 p*
£ 607.712**

* Prices displayed are national averages Prices are accurate as of 18/10/2021.
** Based on Ofgem’s TDCV (2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year).
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.

Remember these are variable tariffs meaning they change on a daily basis.

Electricity Economy 7 rates

Economy 7 tariffs is a tariff specific to electricity that gives cheaper rates during the night and pricier ones in the day. They’re intended for people with specific electricity needs such as people with storage heaters or electric cars which draw electricity in the evening or night-time. Please find the exact Bulb hours below:

Type of meter Area Greenwich Mean Time British Summer Time
2 rate smart meter England and Wales 12:30am to 7:30am 1:30am to 8:30am
2 rate smart meter Scotland 11pm to 7:30am 12:00am to 8:30am
2 rate smart meter Scotland 11pm to 7:30am 12:00am to 8:30am

If you don’t have a smart meter the off-peak hours are listed on or next to the meter itself.

Here are the current rates:

Tariff Standing Charge (p/day) On-Peak Unit Price (p/kWh) Off-Peak Price (p/kWh) Estimated Annual Cost (£/year)
Vari-Fair Economy 7
24.090 p*
23.284 p*
13.779 p*
£ 647.454**
Prepaid Economy 7
28.470 p*
24.380 p*
11.610 p*
£ 647.454**

* Prices displayed are national averages Prices are accurate as of 18/10/2021.
** Based on Ofgem’s TDCV (2,900.00 kWh of ⚡ and 12,000.00 kWh of 🔥 per year).
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.
No Exit Fees.

Remember these are variable tariffs meaning they change on a daily basis.

Does Bulb have exit fees ?

There were no exit fees for Bulb’s Tariffs so you could switch over to a different supplier if you wanted without any hefty costs.

Bulb’s fuel mix and commitment renewable energy

Bulb was committed to being 100% renewable, providing 100% green gas and electricity to its customers without fail. They were very transparent and proud about their fuel mix, as they should’ve been.

However, 10% of Bulb’s gas came from green gas suppliers, which makes them the most renewable provider of gas in the UK. They also committed to offsetting their carbon footprint produced through the generation of gas.

Father and daughter walking through a field with a wind turbine in the background

Did Bulb have business energy deals?

Bulb’s business energy plan provided:

  • 100% renewable energy.
  • No exit fees.
  • 10% cheaper tariffs than other business plans on the market.
  • Flexible tariff that reflects market fluctuations. You will get a 30 day warning before your bill is increased, however.

Did Bulb Energy have good reviews? ⭐

What did their customers say?

According to over 56,000 Reviews on TrustPilot, Bulb was rated 4.8/5 for the service they provide. 88% of reviews deemed the service ‘excellent’, whereas only 3% considered it ‘bad’. This means that Bulb is ranked as one of the best energy suppliers on the market. Their customers consider it to provide quality customer service and great value for money.

Could I have gotten a smart meter through Bulb?

Yes – Bulb offered their customers smart meters, with free installation. However, Bulb didn’t offer smart meters to all of their customers, and your eligibility for one depended on where you lived. This was because they want to make sure that they have professional engineers who can install them, as well as a strong network.

Bulb also provided second-generation smart meters to their customers, which meant that you could switch over to a new supplier without having to get a new smart meter installed, which is handy!

At Switch Plan, we really recommend that you install a smart meter in your home. This is because you can keep track of your energy consumption closely, and provide instant meter readings to your energy supplier without having to keep repeating your personal details or logging into your online account.

How to contact Bulb?

If you want to know more about what will happen in the coming period, there are many ways you can get in touch with Bulb.

Mobile app

Firstly, download their free mobile app, where you can submit meter readings, pay your energy bills, and get in touch with a member of the team.

Online account

Alternatively, you can contact them by logging into your online account, where you can also pay your bills and access their services. If you don’t have an account yet, it doesn’t take long to set one up. Just head over to their website.

Bulb also have up-to-date social media platforms, where they post updates, news, and ads. They also respond to their customers messages, particularly on Twitter, pretty quickly.

Customer service phone number

Or, if you would rather speak to someone directly, you can ring their customer service number on 03003 030 635 between 9am and 6pm, Monday-Friday. Unlike other suppliers, Bulb just has the one contact number. Any member of the team who picks up the phone will be able to advise you on any query, concern or emergency you may have. Or you can email them at help@bulb.co.uk. If you have any complaints about the service that Bulb provides, get in touch via the phone number and/or email address above.

Postal address

If you wanted to send a letter to Bulb, their PO box is located at:

Bulb Energy, 155 Bishopsgate, Spitalsfields, London, EC2M 3TQ.

Bulb Energy in your area

Bulb Energy is cheap across the entire country. Nevertheless, like all other suppliers, it tariffs varies from city to city to echo local constraints such as distribution costs and availability of energy. To help you navigate this we created local paages for all major UK counties and cities. Find yours by following the links bellow:

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Is Bulb's Vari-Fair the best plan on the market?

At Switch Plan, we are adamant that there is no 'best plan' from any supplier. The quality of a plan depends on the personal energy requirements of a particular household, and these differ from home to home. If we think Bulb's tariff is the best for you, we will switch you over after you have given us some information about your energy habits. Give us a ring on 0330 054 0010 and we can talk you through your options to ensure that you're not losing out on energy.

Do Bulb offer a boiler service?

While Bulb do not offer a boiler service to their customers, they are participants in a scheme called the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), through which they support projects to help energy saving in low-income and vulnerable households. One of these projects is boiler installation. Visit their website to find out more information about this project.

Visit their website to find out more information about their tariffs and plans.

Do Bulb have a renewable energy plan?

Simply put, Bulb only has a renewable energy plan. For every unit of energy used with Bulb, another goes back into the grid from a renewable source. Also, their gas is 100% carbon neutral as they offset carbon emissions from their gas supply by investing in environmental projects around the world. It's fair to say that Bulb are leading the way when it comes to green energy in the UK.

Providing 100% green electricity, and committing to offsetting carbon emissions means that they are the greenest energy supplier in the UK.

Who is Bulb Energy owned by?

  • Bulb was created by two guys - Amit Gudka and Hayden Wood - in 2015, in an attempt to revamp the energy industry. They both worked for larger corporations and saw the faults and holes that existed. Out of this realisation that much change could be made, they founded Bulb, and it's been somewhat of a success story.
  • In 2018, Bulb got full funding and has been growing exponentially ever since. They now provide green energy to around 1 million households in the UK, around 1% of homes.
  • Bulb has recently gone international! They no longer just exist in the UK, but now in Spain, France and even as far as Texas in the USA. Because of this, they have received a lot of news coverage for their rapid expansion.

Updated on 29 Jan, 2024

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