Bulb Energy latest news – UK's seventh-biggest energy supplier to hire special administrator Lazard 'within days'

MONEY guru Martin Lewis has issued an important piece of advice for Bulb customers – to do nothing and sit tight as there will be no change for customers.

The MoneySavingExpert founder tweeted a few much-needed tips in the minutes after Bulb collapsed into administration.

Bulb Energy customers will not see their supply or credit affected following the announcement.

Lewis wrote: "Details sparse, but don't worry ur supply continues & almost certainly 1. [You'll] stay on the price cap, there's nowt meaningfully cheaper. DON'T switch or you may pay 30% more.

"2. Your credit's safe."

More than 1.7 million customers are affected by the collapse of the UK's seventh largest energy firm.

Since the summer, at least 12 providers have gone bust – with Utility Point and People's Energy the first of the list of small providers to go.

Read our weather live blog for the latest news and updates…

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    Explained: What is the warmer homes discount?

    Rather than money being paid to you, the Warmer Homes Discount is a £140 discount applied by your energy supplier.

    It is designed to reduce your heating costs between October and March when it is colder outside and you are likely to use more gas and electricity.

    The discount is only available if your supplier has chosen to offer it.

    Older people receiving the guarantee element of pension credit are eligible for the discount – known as the “core group” – and should receive a letter by December about how to get it.

    Outside of the “core group,” You may still be eligible if you receive certain means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit.

    You will need to apply to your supplier if they provide the support and check their criteria.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Who will my new supplier be after Bulb?

    Normally Ofgem will move customers of failed firms to a new supplier but as Bulb is in special administration, Bulb will continue to supply customers for now

    Bulb could still be rescued by another company that could takeover customer's accounts.

    Miltienyte said: “The administrator may decide to close the supplier down in the future, and move customers elsewhere.

    "But customers will be kept informed by Ofgem and the administrators about what will happen next.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    What happens to my Bulb credit?

    Any credit you have with Bulb is protected when you are moved by Ofgem to another supplier.

    This should be protected under Bulb's special administration too.

    Justina Miltienyte from USwitch said: “The most important thing for consumers to know is that their energy supply will continue to run as it always has done, and any credit balances will be protected."

    An estimated 21million households pay energy bills by direct debit, paying the same amount each month based on estimated use over the entire year.

    But actual use can vary through the seasons, as more energy is generally used in winter when the heating is on and less in summer when the weather is warmer.

    During the summer months customers can often end up paying more than the energy they use, leaving them with a credit balance with their energy company.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Energy price cap will still apply to bills

    There will be no change to tariffs and the energy price cap will still apply to bills.

    Customers should continue to be able to log into their accounts online to check their balance and download any bills.

    Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy for Citizens Advice, said: “Bulb customers will be protected by the special administration process and they shouldn’t see much change to their service for now."

  • Joseph Gamp

    What has Ofgem said about Bulb?

    An Ofgem spokesperson said: “Customers of Bulb do not need to worry – Bulb will continue to operate as normal.

    "Ofgem is working very closely with Government. This includes plans for Ofgem to apply to Court to appoint an administrator who will run the company.

    "Customers will see no disruption to their supply and their account and tariff will continue as normal."

  • Joseph Gamp

    What happens to my energy supply if I'm a Bulb customer?

    Bulb customers will find their gas and electric supply will continue as normal.

    The regulator Ofgem ensures that no one will ever be left without energy if any supplier goes bust.

    Usually they will find you a new supplier instead and the advice is to sit tight until this happens.

    But, as Bulb is so big it has gone into special administration.

    That means that it will continue to operate as normal and customers don't need to do anything.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Will someone buy Bulb?

    Other firms including Ovo, Octopus and Shell Energy have been approached to ask if they would like to buy out Bulb, but the debts are thought to be too big.

    It comes as Bulb investors are no longer willing to pump more money into the firm, with debts now thought to be more than £600million.

    Regulators were on standby for the imminent collapse of the company as early as last month.

    A rescue deal was in the works to save the company, but The Sun reported that hopes to pull the company back from the brink were fading.

    One company which was considering a takeover of Bulb reportedly claimed the firm has liabilities of around £600m, which made a “solvent takeover of the company hard to envisage”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Check your boiler

    An estimated 100,000 homes may need vital boiler checks, repairs and maintenance over the next two weeks, British Gas has estimated.

    The firm says the next few weeks will be crucial as Jack Frost comes to visit.

    Joanna Flowers, a British Gas service and repair engineer, said: “The next couple of weeks could be the first test for many households’ heating systems this year.

    “We know that having no heating or hot water is people’s worst winter nightmare in the home, so rather wait for the cold weather to set in before finding out something’s not working as it should be, we’re advising households to prepare now. 

    “Looking after your boiler is key, as well as making a few small changes around the home to ensure the rest of your heating and hot water system is working effectively and efficiently. And remember, a heating system that’s in good shape also won’t use more energy than it needs – which will help keep your bills down.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Bulb collapse affecting 1.7million households

    Britain’s seventh biggest energy supplier Bulb, which provides gas or electricity to 1.7 million households, plans to enter special administration as it was squeezed out of the market.

    The company becomes the latest and the largest in a list of more than 20 energy suppliers that have failed since the start of September as gas prices soared.

    Bulb said it would back regulator Ofgem’s efforts to appoint a special administrator – a process designed to protect customers when a large energy supplier can no longer trade.

    “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,” the company said on Monday.

    “If you’re a Bulb member, please don’t worry, as your energy supply is secure and all credit balances are protected.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    What has Ofgem said about the collapse?

    Following the news that Bulb energy will go into administration, an Ofgem spokesperson said: “Customers of Bulb do not need to worry – Bulb will continue to operate as normal.

    “Ofgem is working very closely with Government. This includes plans for Ofgem to apply to Court to appoint an administrator who will run the company. Customers will see no disruption to their supply and their account and tariff will continue as normal.

    “Bulb staff will still be available to answer calls and queries.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Warmer Homes warning for Bulb customers

    Millions of energy customers whose suppliers have gone bust have been urged to still apply for £140 off their bills.

    The Warm Home Discount Scheme is designed to help those on low incomes struggling with energy bills.

    Pensioners on the lowest incomes get the discount automatically but anyone else must apply to their energy supplier directly.

    At least 22 energy firms have collapsed since August as companies battle against rocketing fuel prices.

    But research by Uswitch shows that applications for the scheme are still open at the big six energy firms that have taken on millions of customers now without a supplier.

    You are eligible if you have been switched onto that supplier – regardless of who you were with before.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Where was the money pumped from?

    It comes as Bulb investors are no longer willing to pump more money into the firm, with debts now thought to be more than £600million.

    Regulators were on standby for the imminent collapse of the company as early as last month.

    A rescue deal was in the works to save the company, but The Sun reported that hopes to pull the company back from the brink were fading.

    One company which was considering a takeover of Bulb reportedly claimed the firm has liabilities of around £600m, which made a “solvent takeover of the company hard to envisage”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Other providers have gone bust since the summer

    At least 12 providers have gone bust since the summer, with Utility Point and People’s Energy the first of the list of small providers to go.

    It comes as customers who see their supplier go bust this winter could face paying £400 more to new suppliers taking over their contracts.

  • Joseph Gamp

    What happens if my energy supplier could go bust?

    If your energy supplier goes bust then you won't be cut off, so there's no need to panic

    You'll be moved to a new supplier under Ofgem's rules and you'll be contacted by the new supplier.

    The new firm won't have to honour the deal you were on with your previous provider, but any credit on your account will be protected.

    Experts like Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert have advised customers not to rush to switch though, and instead "simply sit tight and wait to be contacted by a new supplier".

    It's worth taking a metre reading though to give to your new supplier, and downloading any previous bills from the old supplier.

    Anyone worried about their supplier going under should avoid switching, as you would likely lose any fixed deal you're on meaning your energy bill would go up.

    Since you'll be moved automatically and credit is protected, it's unlikely you'll be better off switching – and your current supplier could stay in business.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Typical yearly energy bill could rise to £2000 next year

    It is estimated that a typical bill could rise to at least £2,000 next year, up from £1,277 as stands under the energy price cap. But 11 more failures would send bills up even more.

    Price Bailey partner Matt Howard called the growing crisis “complete carnage”.

    Mr Howard said: "This time next year we will have far fewer suppliers and higher household energy bills.

    "Every time a supplier goes bust the costs of the remaining suppliers increase, which makes those businesses more vulnerable."

    He added: "It's possible that only one or two of the challenger brands will be left standing alongside the big six this time next year.

    As surviving companies take on millions of customers from failing companies their profits are squeezed, which will mean prices will have to rise for the next 12 to 18 months."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Eleven more energy suppliers are set to go bust as bills set to soar to over £2,000 a year

    NEARLY a dozen more energy suppliers are on the verge of collapse – meaning rising household bills are set to soar even higher.

    That is according to accountancy firm Price Bailey which checked the credit risk scores of all domestic electricity and gas licensees registered with Ofgem, the regulator for electricity and gas markets.

    Price Bailey found that 14 suppliers – nearly half those still in the market – are deemed “maximum risk”, which puts them at imminent risk of collapse.

    Three have since failed, including Bulb – the seventh biggest supplier – which went into administration on Monday.

    That leaves 11 teetering on the brink, Price Bailey confirmed.

    More than 20 have collapsed since the start of September, affecting nearly 4million households.

  • Joseph Gamp

    1.7m affected as bulb enters special administration

    Britain's seventh biggest energy supplier Bulb, which provides gas or electricity to 1.7 million households, plans to enter special administration as it was squeezed out of the market.

    The company becomes the latest and the largest in a list of more than 20 energy suppliers that have failed since the start of September as gas prices soared.

    Bulb said it would back regulator Ofgem's efforts to appoint a special administrator – a process designed to protect customers when a large energy supplier can no longer trade.

    "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," the company said on Monday.

    "If you're a Bulb member, please don't worry, as your energy supply is secure and all credit balances are protected."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Bulb: What to do now

    Will I get a new supplier?

    No, Bulb will continue to trade and supply all current customers unless they decide to leave.

    Should I switch to a new supplier?

    It might not be wise. With Bulb you will still be protected by the price cap and there are no better deals anywhere else.

    How will Bulb differ from other failed suppliers?

    Bulb customers will stay with Bulb but administrators will take over the running of the company.

    Will my bills go up?

    No, bills should stay the same for now.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Martin Lewis' urgent advice for Bulb customers

    MONEY guru Martin Lewis has issued an important piece of advice for Bulb customers – to do nothing and sit tight as there will be no change for customers.

    The MoneySavingExpert founder tweeted a few much-needed tips in the minutes after Bulb collapsed into administration.

    Bulb Energy customers will not see their supply or credit affected following the announcement.

    Lewis wrote: "Details sparse, but don't worry ur supply continues & almost certainly 1. [You'll] stay on the price cap, there's nowt meaningfully cheaper. DON'T switch or you may pay 30% more.

    "2. Your credit's safe."

  • [email protected]

    What happens to my Bulb credit?

    Any credit you have with Bulb is protected when you are moved by Ofgem to another supplier.

    This should be protected under Bulb’s special administration too.

    Justina Miltienyte from USwitch said: “The most important thing for consumers to know is that their energy supply will continue to run as it always has done, and any credit balances will be protected.”

    An estimated 21million households pay energy bills by direct debit, paying the same amount each month based on estimated use over the entire year.

    But actual use can vary through the seasons, as more energy is generally used in winter when the heating is on and less in summer when the weather is warmer.

    During the summer months customers can often end up paying more than the energy they use, leaving them with a credit balance with their energy company.

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    Explained: Will my new tariff be more expensive?

    Yes. Which ever new energy provider takes over from Bulb will only have to honour the previous tariff for a fixed period.

    Then the bill will inevitably go up due to natural gase prices.

    HOWEVER if you can take the variable tariff rather than the fixed one – as few fixed tariffs will be cheaper than the energy price cap and you will not see the benefit of lowering costs in the future.

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    Explained: What should I do while I wait?

    Bulb customers now face an agonising wait as a deal is hammered out over whether to buy out Bulb or where to distribute out its new customers.

    The best thing to do is to sit tight and wait for Ofgem to give you a new supplier – DO NOT try to switch as you will be worse off.

    In the meantime take meter readings and wait for your new supplier to contact you in a few weeks’ time – so you know exactly what you have used ahead of getting any new bill.

    You can switch when your new provider confirms your account details.

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    Explained: Why can't I save money by switching?

    Cheap fixed-price discount deals have all been scrapped.

    Many fixed-price customers are on deals costing between £800 and £900 a year, which were available until recent months.

    The cheapest fixed deal available now is £1,427, £150 more than £1,277 variable-rate price cap tariffs.

    Some fixed deals cost £1,600-plus — double some customers’ fixed price bill.

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    How to save money on working from home this winter

    It is no secret that working from home has saved people a pretty penny when it comes to commuting costs and fancy lunches.

    But where home workers are feeling the pinch are the increased cost of energy bills from being home all day.

    You may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work at home on a regular basis.

    You can either claim tax relief on £6 a week from April 6, 2020, or the exact amount of the extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount – but you’ll need evidence such as a receipt, bills or contracts.

    Meanwhile, if bad weather stops you from getting to work, it is largely down to your contract of employment whether you will get paid.

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    Explained: What's Russia got to do with it?

    The high prices have also been made worse by political tensions in Europe.

    A delay to a controversial gas pipe between Russia and Germany, a flashpoint in the ongoing energy crisis, sent the cost of UK gas up again this week.

    Russia has put Germany’s approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline at the heart of talks over supplies.

    Germany’s energy regulator has suspended approval of the project, which would see a natural gas pipeline run from Russia to Germany.

    Since approval was suspended, UK and EU wholesale gas prices have surged an eye-watering 17%.

    Source: Read Full Article