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Bulb enters special administration and is bought by Octopus - what does this mean for you?

Bulb has announced that it supports being placed into special administration. This is the first time Ofgem's special measure has been used to support an energy supplier. It has since been bought by Octopus Energy. But what does it mean for customers?
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Octopus Energy buys Bulb

On 29 October 2022, Octopus Energy announced that it had acquired Bulb, subject to regulatory approval. This will end the almost year-long limbo Bulb customers have been subjected to since the energy supplier was put into special administration, as they will ultimately become Octopus customers.

What should you do?

If you're a Bulb customer, don't worry - nothing will change in the short-term.

Bulb will continue to operate as normal until the acquisition is completed, at which point customers will become part of Octopus, so it's important that customers stay put until then. There will be no change to your supply and your credit balance will be protected. You will also remain eligible for the Energy Bills Support Scheme and the Energy Price Guarantee.

Bulb and/or Octopus will be in touch with more details in the near future.

You can find out more about how you are protected in the event of an energy supplier collapse here.

When Bulb went into special administration, it stated that:

  • Your tariffs are not changing

  • Energy payments via top up will continue to work as normal

  • If you’re in the process of switching to or from Bulb, your switch will continue

  • Smart meter installations and other metering work will also continue.

Should you switch your deal?

Although you can technically switch your deal, most affordable deals have been taken off the market. In the event that you’re transferred to a new supplier, you’ll probably be put on its standard variable tariff which is capped at £2,500 until April 2023. This is probably the most affordable plan for you at this time as, again, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to save by switching.

What happens to your credit balance?

If you have a positive balance outstanding on your Bulb account, don’t worry - that will be secure. It’s probably best to leave the money on your account to help pay future bills rather than asking for a refund, though.

If you're a Bulb customer, Uswitch can let you know when there's more news to share, along with tips, insight and any suitable deals that come onto the market that you may be able to switch to. Simply sign up with your email address below.

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We've recently offered our switch-ready customers exclusive fixed deals from big suppliers such as EDF and British Gas.

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Why did Bulb go into special administration? Why not use SoLR?

The difference between Bulb and the other suppliers exiting the market recently is down to the number of customers Bulb has relative to those other suppliers. It has approximately 1.7 million customers across the UK (6% of the overall market) - this is around three times more than Avro, which was previously the largest supplier to go bust with 580,000 customers. 

This means that other suppliers cannot easily take on all of Bulb’s customers alongside their current customers, as usually happens under SoLR.