Update: 1 December 2021
Teneo has been appointed special administrator of Bulb. Teneo will work with the existing Bulb management team and broader stakeholders. The special administration regime enables a business to continue to trade as usual and if circumstances permit, to be sold at the appropriate time, in full or in part.
Interpath has been appointed administrator of Simple, Bulb’s parent company.
We know members will have questions. So we've written more information about what this means for Bulb members.
For queries relating to the special administration of Bulb, please email email@example.com.
Communications and reporting about the special administration of Bulb will be updated on this website, which is kept up to date by Teneo.
For queries relating to the administration of Simple, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media enquiries, please contact email@example.com.
What you need to know
Special administration is designed to allow Bulb to continue to operate as usual so you don’t need to take any action. Your tariffs are not changing, and the price cap applies to all consumer energy tariffs. If you pay for your energy by top up, your top ups will continue to work as normal. If you’re in the process of switching to or from Bulb, your switch will continue.
We’re expecting a high volume of calls today, so please only call if it’s an emergency, you’re in a vulnerable situation or you are struggling to pay your bills. That way, we can help those who need it most at this time. And please bear in mind that response times will be longer than normal.
Smart meter installations and other metering work will continue. In the event of a metering emergency, where energy supply has been lost, please call us, or take a look at the support and information on the Ofgem website. If you need additional support, you can also contact Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133 or contact them via the Citzens Advice website.
A note from our team
When we founded Bulb in 2015 it was because we thought energy customers deserved a better deal. We believed strongly that we should do things differently, and that by building a talented team and creating our own technology we could make energy simpler, cheaper and greener.
We've been so proud to grow Bulb to 6% of the UK market. When we started Bulb just 1% of households were with renewable energy suppliers. Now that figure is over 30%. Green is going mainstream, and Bulb and our members have played a part in making that happen.
We expanded to France, Spain and Texas, taking our technology, our best in class customer service, and everything we learned in the UK to new countries. And we launched new products, like energy management options for EV drivers to help continue to cut carbon emissions and meet net zero targets by 2050. We were one of the only energy companies to be a B Corp, which is assessed against rigorous standards around sustainability; showing how business can be a force for good. And for each new member to join Bulb, we donated £2 to the Bulb Foundation, fighting to address the climate crisis. As important for us was looking after our members, especially the most vulnerable. We're proud to have launched a best in class Smart Pay as You Go product to make it much easier for our members to top up their prepay energy; Ofgem rated our Warm Home Discount product #1 in the energy industry; and we doubled the proportion of Bulb members getting access to our priority services by making them easier and simpler to access.
The energy crisis
When we started exploring fundraising options, we were delighted to receive lots of interest from investors to fund our business plans and future growth. However, 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.
Wholesale prices have skyrocketed and continue to be extremely volatile. The gas supply shortage combined with lower exports from Russia and increased demand means they remain high and unpredictable. Prices have hit close to £4.00 per therm recently, compared with 50p per therm a year ago. We’ve always been big supporters of the idea of a price cap to protect customers, but the current price cap is set at a level around 70p per therm, well below the cost of energy. The news last week about Nord Stream 2 has sent gas prices back up again. Nord Stream 2 is a new gas pipeline from Russia to Europe which must be approved by Germany and the EU. Last week, Germany suspended its approval process, and there’s growing geopolitical pressure to scrap the project. As a result, the industry has seen many suppliers fail over the past few months and many more are expected to do so over the winter.
Special administration is designed to protect the customers of a large energy supplier that’s become insolvent. The special administrator is required by the Government under the 2011 Energy Act to continue to supply energy to customers, and will protect customer credit balances. The process to appoint special administrators is not yet complete but we expect them to be appointed shortly.
Our International businesses in France, Spain and Texas are separate businesses from Bulb UK and are not immediately affected by us entering special administration.
Thank you to our members and to our team who continue to work so hard to build amazing products, provide brilliant customer service, and bring renewable energy to our members around the world.