If the application is successful, Bulb, which has around 1.7 million customers, will be run by Teneo Restructuring until a potential buyer can be found, or its customers leave.
This will be the first test of a new insolvency regime designed to protect customers of a company considered too-big-to-fail.
Unlike Ofgem’s usual supplier of last resort SOLR process, Bulb will keep serving customers.
The company is three times larger than any other energy supplier that has failed in the gas price crisis.
The regulator said: “Customers of Bulb do not need to worry. If a special administrator is appointed, they will see no disruption to their supply, their price plan will remain the same, and any outstanding credit balances, including money owed to customers who have recently switched, will be honoured.”
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said: “Energy regulator Ofgem, with the Government’s consent, has made an application to the court. We do not comment on ongoing court proceedings.
“The Special Administration Regime is long-standing, well-established mechanism to protect energy consumers and ensure continued energy supply when a supplier fails.
“Bulb customers do not need to do anything, there will be no disruption to supply or current energy prices, and credit balances are protected.”
Since the beginning of September, 22 energy suppliers have failed. They were pushed out of the market by a spike in gas prices.