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Bulb Energy


Bulb Energy collapsed in the summer of 2021 and was placed in special administration by the government. This was the first time that the government had appointed a special administrator to operate an energy supplier to maintain the supply of energy to customers.

In June 2022 the NAO reported on the energy supplier market, and noted that £0.9bn had been spent by government on running Bulb through the special administration regime in 2021-22.

In October 2022, following a sale process, Octopus Energy was identified as the acquirer of Bulb’s customers, business assets and liabilities, including customer credit balances. In November 2022 the government obtained court approval for the transaction agreement with Octopus. Three energy companies commenced legal proceedings relating to this agreement.

Dame Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the PAC, commenting on the NAO report, said: “Government took a risk bailing out Bulb when it failed.

Since November 2021, taxpayers have spent £3bn protecting Bulb customers' energy supply.

Government needs to manage the recovery of the bulk of taxpayer funding for Bulb from Octopus over the next couple of years and we need to know if there are costs to be passed onto energy bill payers.”

Based on the NAO’s latest report, the Committee will question two panels of witnesses on the special administration, sale process and transaction agreement; and on the amount of taxpayer support provided to Bulb Energy, the agreement with Octopus, and the government’s plans to recover this funding.

The first panel will include the Chief Executive of the energy regulator Ofgem; the Chief Financial Officer of Octopus Energy and Teneo, the appointed special administrator.

For the second panel the Committee will question senior officials at the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, and HM Treasury.

If you have relevant evidence to inform the Committee’s questioning of either panel of witnesses, please submit it here by 23:59 on Wednesday 10 May 2023.Please have a look at the requirements for written evidence submissions and note the Committee cannot accept as evidence material that has been published elsewhere.

This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence

The deadline for submissions was Wednesday 10 May 2023.

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
Seventy-Fourth Report - Bulb Energy
Inquiry Bulb Energy
HC 1232
Response to this report
Correspondence from Jeremy Pocklington CB, Permanent Secretary, Department for Energy Security & Net Zero, re Bulb Energy Limited: Energy Supply Company Special Administration Regime, dated 27 February 2024
HC 1232
Response to this report
Correspondence from Dame Meg Hillier, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, to Jeremy Pocklington CB, Permanent Secretary, Department for Energy Security & Net Zero, re Treasury minute response – Bulb Energy, dated 21 February 2024
HC 1232
Response to this report
Treasury minutes: Government response to the Committee of Public Accounts on the Seventy-fourth report from Session 2022-23
HC 1232
Government Response

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
25 May 2023
Inquiry Bulb Energy
Oral Evidence

Written evidence

No written evidence published.

Contact us

  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 5776 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 8480 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA