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Business Update

Statement made on 26 November 2021

Statement UIN HCWS425

Statement

Contingent Liability (Indemnity)

Today I will lay before Parliament a Departmental Minute describing a contingent liability arising from an indemnity for the Energy Administrators acting in the Special Administration Regime for Bulb Energy Limited (‘Bulb’).

It is normal practice when a Government Department proposes to undertake a contingent liability of £300,000 and above, for which there is no specific statutory authority, for the Department concerned to present Parliament with a minute giving particulars of the liability created and explaining the circumstances.

I regret that I have not been able to follow the usual notification timelines to allow consideration of these issues in advance of issuing the indemnity, but the fast moving nature of Bulb’s situation has required a rapid response to protect consumers.

Bulb entered the Energy Supply Company Special Administration Regime on 24 November 2021. Energy Administrators were appointed by court to achieve the statutory objective of continuing energy supplies at the lowest reasonable practicable cost until such time as it becomes unnecessary for the special administration to remain in force for that purpose.

My Department has agreed to provide an indemnity to the Energy Administrators in respect of personal liabilities they might incur in the exercise and performance of their powers and duties as administrator. I will update the House if the indemnity is called upon.

The legal basis for an indemnity covering the Energy Administrators’ personal liability is section 166 Energy Act 2004, as applied by section 96 Energy Act 2011.

HM Treasury has approved the arrangements in principle.

Contingent Liability (Letter of Credit)

Today I will lay before Parliament a Departmental Minute describing a contingent liability arising from the issuance of a letter of credit for the Energy Administrators acting in the Special Administration Regime for Bulb Energy Limited (‘Bulb’).

It is normal practice when a Government Department proposes to undertake a contingent liability of £300,000 and above, for which there is no specific statutory authority, for the Department concerned to present Parliament with a minute giving particulars of the liability created and explaining the circumstances.

I regret that I have not been able to follow the usual notification timelines to allow consideration of these issues in advance of issuing the letter of credit, but the fast-moving nature of Bulb’s situation has required a rapid response to protect consumers.

Bulb entered the Energy Supply Company Special Administration Regime on 24 November 2021. Energy Administrators were appointed by court to achieve the statutory objective of continuing energy supplies at the lowest reasonable practicable cost until such time as it becomes unnecessary for the special administration to remain in force for that purpose.

My Department has agreed to provide a facility to the Energy Administrators, with a letter of credit issued, with my approval, to guarantee such contract, code, licence, or other document obligations of the company consistent with the special administration’s statutory objective. I will update the House if any letters of credit are drawn against.

The legal basis for a letter of credit is section 165 Energy Act 2004, as applied and modified by section 96 Energy Act 2011.

HM Treasury has approved the arrangements in principle.

Linked statements

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business Update
Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility)
Conservative, Life peer
Statement made 29 November 2021
HLWS417
Lords