Lights out at Bulb: what are my green energy options?

Written by Lori Campbell on 24th Nov 2021

Green energy supplier Bulb, which has 1.7 million customers, has collapsed into ‘special administration’ – making it the biggest casualty so far of the escalating gas price crisis.

Wholesale prices leapt 250 per cent in the first half of 2021, and a government cap on energy prices has put the squeeze on suppliers. Prior to Bulb, the largest collapse was Avro Energy, which had 580,000 customers, followed by People’s Energy with 350,000, and Pure Planet with 235,000.

Not so long ago, it was reasonably easy to switch to a green energy supplier and save money, but doing so in these turbulent times could mean paying a significant amount more on your bills.

If you’re keen to keep the energy coming into your home green, here are our top options – including how financial stable they claim to be in the current crisis.

If you’re a Bulb customer

If you’re a Bulb customer, you’re probably left wondering what its partial collapse means for you. The ‘special administration’ process, which hasn’t been used before in the energy market, means that Bulb will continue to operate as usual for existing customers for now. However, it will no longer take on new customers and its future as a company is uncertain.

Bulb is so big that energy regulator Ofgem could not get anyone else to take on its customers as a ‘supplier of last resort’, as it has done with smaller companies. This means that it has had to appoint a special administrator, as laid out in the 2011 Energy Act.

Bulb has been quick to reassure its customers that they do not need to take any action. “Special administration is designed to allow Bulb to continue to operate as usual so you don’t need to take any action,” the company said in a statement. “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.”


GEUK (formerly Green Energy UK) is the only UK provider supplying both 100 per cent renewable electricity and 100 per cent green biomethane gas. The former is generated from solar, wind and hydro while its gas is generated through anaerobic digestion using pig waste at the company’s Gask Farm site.

It is certified by the Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS), which tracks biomethane through the supply chain. The firm has 4.5 out of five stars based on 950 reviews on Trust Pilot. However, while GEUK’s sustainable credentials do stand-out from its peers, you can expect to pay more for your tariff than you would with other providers.

How stable is it? 

GEUK has tweeted to say they are not involved in any bailout talks and are “here to stay.”

Note: GEUK, Good Energy and Ecotricity are allowed to charge more than the current Ofgem set cap of £1,277 as they hold specific tariffs that support the production of renewable gas or electricity. This means that switching to them in the current crisis could cost you more.


One of the original green energy pioneers, Ecotricity guarantees 100 per cent green electricity and carbon neutral green gas. It continues to push the clean energy envelope by investing its profits into buying its own wind and solar farms, as well as an innovative grass-fed green gasmill.

Ecotricity is also the only energy provider to calculate its entire footprint – per customer – and the only provider to be registered with the Vegan Society, promising that none of its biomass contains animal products.

How stable is it? 

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince has assured its customers that the company remains financially secure, saying in a statement: “We have 90 per cent of our requirement bought in advance for 12 months, the other 10 per cent is not available until closer to the point of delivery. We are thus protected to the maximum possible.”

Good Energy 

Good Energy also both generates and supplies renewable energy, with 100 per cent of its electricity generated by its wind and solar farms, as well as through hydroelectricty and biofuels. Around 10 per cent of its gas is renewable, with the remainder of its carbon footprint offset through schemes including installing biogas digesters in India and China that enable farmers to use animal waste to generate clean fuel.

How stable is it? 

Good Energy CEO Nigel Pocklington has said in a statement “I would like to reassure you all that Good Energy is stable, prudently run and not at risk of running into difficulty.”

Octopus Energy

The largest investor in solar generation in Europe, Octopus has built over 150 solar farms in the UK, generating 40 per cent of our large-scale solar. It says its Super Green tariff is fully carbon neutral, offering 100 per cent renewable electricity and full carbon offsets for gas. Octopus was also the Which? top recommended supplier for 2020.

However, in April 2020 Friends of the Earth decided to stop its endorsement of Octopus after the energy firm accepted investment from an Australian energy company involved in coal power generation and fracking.

How stable is it? 

Greg Jackson, Octopus CEO, has tweeted that the firm is a “global, very well backed company we’re fine”.

SO Energy

Founded in 2015, So Energy is a small green electricity-only supplier with the ethos ‘simplicity, honesty and great value’. It has pledged that its fixed rate tariffs will always be among the best value offered by any supplier. It is the only supplier of renewable electricity that gives customers the chance to vote on how it is sourced. You can vote on hydro, solar, wind or biomass, and SO Energy will base the percentage it buys from each source for the following year on the results. SO Energy was one of the Which? top 3 recommended energy suppliers for 2020.

How stable is it?

In August 2021, Irish renewable energy supplier ESB bought a 75 per cent stake in SO Energy, growing its customer base by 35 per cent to 300,000. Following the deal, SO Energy commented on twitter: “We’re fine. We just merged with the wonderful @ESBGroup so we’re in a very stable position.”

OVO Energy

OVO Energy offers 100 per cent renewable electricity as standard and access to its “carbon-kicking green tech”. It will also plant a tree in your name every year through a partnership with the Woodland Trust. The OVO Greenlight tool enables customers to calculate the carbon footprint of their everyday habits, and gives tips on how they can save cash and carbon.

How stable is it?

OVO says on its website: “We understand you may have seen a lot in the news about the energy market. We want you to know that OVO Energy is in a stable position and your energy supply is safe. Our number one focus is on keeping you warm and safe this winter.. we’ll be in touch if we have any updates.”

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