Your privacy is important
A guide to the use of your personal data
This policy describes and governs the collection, storage and use of personal information collected by us - in particular about our customers and potential customers. It provides you with details about the personal information that we may collect from you, as well as how we use that information.
1. Who we are
Spark Energy Supply Ltd is a company registered in England (registration number 05857467), whose registered office is at Regent House, 316 Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, London SE19 3HF. Our trading address is Ettrick Riverside, Dunsdale Road, Selkirk, Scotland TD7 5EB.
For the purpose of data protection laws, we are the "controller". That means that we’re responsible for looking after the personal information that we hold about you. We’ll use your personal data fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner, and in accordance with data protection laws. You may contact our Data Protection Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The information we collect about you
a. Information you give to us
You may give us information about you by filling in forms on our website or by contacting us by phone, e-mail, SMS, chat or other means. This includes information you provide when you sign up to one of our tariffs or products, register to use our site or online services, search for a product, participate in live chat or use other social media functions on our site, enter a competition, promotion or survey, and when you report a problem with our site.
We may ask you to provide the following information:
- your name;
- your age and date of birth;
- your postal address;
- your phone number (land line and/or mobile);
- e-mail details;
- energy consumption data, for example data about your energy usage and other service related information (including data gathered and stored on a smart meter);
- bank account details;
- financial and credit card (or other billing information); and
- details of any personal circumstances or additional needs you may have that mean you would like to be placed on our Priority Services Register.
b. Information we collect when you visit our website or when you call us
Each time you visit one of our websites, we’ll automatically collect the following information:
- technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform; and
- information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our site (including date and time), products you viewed or searched for, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page and any phone number used to call us.
We’ll also record calls that we hold with you for quality, training and audit purposes (and to ensure that such calls meet legal and regulatory requirements), but only having notified you of this.
c. Information we collect from other sources
We work with certain other third parties and we may collect information about you from them. This information may include:
- name, date of birth, contact, property and payment details from our sales contractors
- name, date of birth, contact and property details from our letting agent partners
- information relating to your account(s) with us from our debt collection agencies. This could include contact details, information about any payments you have made or payment plans you have agreed, and information about your personal circumstances such as your ability to pay and any additional needs you have
- name, contact, property and financial details from online comparison sites
- information relating to your energy consumption from our smart metering partners,
- information relating to your credit score from credit reference agencies
- data from advertising networks;
- data from analytics providers; and
- data from search information providers.
d. Credit reference agencies
When you enter into a contract for the supply of energy to your property with us, we’ll supply and collect information about you from credit reference agencies. When credit reference agencies receive a search request from us, they’ll place a search footprint on your credit file that may be seen by other lenders. They supply to us both public (including the electoral register) and shared credit, financial situation and financial history information and fraud prevention information.
We may also make checks such as assessing your application for credit and verifying identities to prevent and detect crime. We’ll also continue to exchange information about you with CRAs on an ongoing basis, including about your settled accounts and any debts not fully repaid on time and may also make periodic searches at credit reference agencies and fraud prevention agencies to manage your account with us. The identities of the credit reference agencies, and the ways in which they use and share personal information, are explained in more detail at http://www.experian.co.uk/crain/index.html
3. How we will store your information
We (or a third party acting on our behalf) may collect, store and use your personal information listed in section 2 above (including energy consumption data) for the following purposes:
- to transfer your energy supply to us, from your previous energy provider or to transfer your energy from us, to another provider;
- to manage your energy account(s) with us;
- to provide you with information about how much of a particular service you’ve used and what charges will apply, for example how much electricity or gas you have used and what charges will apply;
- to improve the accuracy of your energy bills;
- to communicate with you in relation to your account with us, including by post, email, your online account, SMS and live chat;
- to allow you to participate in interactive features (e.g. on our website) and as part of our efforts to keep our website safe and secure and to administer our website for internal operations;
- to create personalised messages and content for you;
- in connection with arranging and conducting visits to your property (e.g. to read meters);
- to contact you (including by SMS and e-mail) with products and services that we or members of the Spark corporate group offer which are similar to those that you have already, or information about services or products you’ve opted in to receiving from us (the members of the Spark corporate group are Spark Energy Limited with company number SC301188, Spark Energy Supply Ltd with company number 05857467 and Home Telecom Limited with company number 07412021);
- where you’ve given your consent or asked us to do so, to disclose your personal information to carefully chosen third parties including our broadband and telephony partner so that they may contact you (including by SMS and e-mail) with products and services which they think may interest you;
- where your letting agent has provided us with information about you, to disclose your personal information to your local council and water authority so that they can contact you about any relevant tax or charges;
- in connection with system maintenance, testing and training;
- to run credit checks and check your credit score, the results of which may impact the services which we offer you;
- to undertake or assist fraud prevention, identity or money laundering verification and legal enforcement where necessary;
- to pursue any money owed to us and manage our debt collection and recovery activities;
- to create profiles and marketing opportunities where you have explicitly consented for your data to be used for such purposes; and
- in connection with market research activities.
We will not keep personal information longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes for which they were collected. Please see section 12 of this policy for further details.
4. Who we share your information with
We may disclose your personal information in respect of the purposes listed above with the following organisations: letting agents (in each case where applicable) in order to carry out any ancillary services that you have requested, for example assistance with council tax and water set up at a new address;
- our trusted business partners that we use in order to provide the products and services that you have requested including: our customer service contractors and smart metering contractors and our broadband and telephony partner Home Telecom, which is owned by Spark Energy Limited;
- where you’ve asked or expressed interest, our Tenant Direct online comparison website in order to provide you with a quote and details of a new tariff;
- Government and/or regulatory bodies, such as Ofgem and the Information Commissioner’s Office, in order to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
- The police and other crime prevention agencies;
- third parties where there is a legal duty to disclose information;
- third parties such as industry databases, Ofgem, and debt collection agencies in order to enforce or apply the terms of our contract with you;
- the owners and/or operators of smart (or similar) meters, our smart metering contractors, and the Data Communications Company (DCC) in order to communicate with and obtain readings from customers’ smart meters;
- other utility service providers who may supply your property including your distribution network operator as well as your local authority, water company, social services, charities, healthcare or other support organisations and/or housing associations relevant to your property and/or use of our services;
- our online email providers and contractors who send out post and other communications for us in order to send you information about your account and related products and services;
- payment providers;
- credit reference agencies for the purpose of receiving information about you, performing credit checks and exchanging information about you including about your settled accounts and any debts not fully repaid on time. This information may be supplied to other organisations by credit reference agencies to perform similar checks and to trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe;
- fraud prevention agencies and other organisations involved in fraud and crime prevention for the purpose of identifying instances of fraud and informing them of suspected instances of fraud;
- debt collection agencies to recover outstanding late payments and manage our debt collection activities including issuing default notices;
- market research organisations in order to collect information on customer experience; and
- where a third party acquires all or most of our business, that third party.
5. Using your data for marketing purposes
If you have a contract with us or where you’ve opted in to receive marketing information from us, then we may contact you (including by SMS, telephone, e-mail or by social media (for example through Facebook)) with information about products and services that we offer which are similar to those that you already receive from us, or information about services or products you’ve opted in to receiving from us.
If you’d prefer not to receive this information please let us know by writing to: Marketing Communications, Spark Energy, Ettrick Riverside, Dunsdale Road, Selkirk TD7 5EB or by emailing email@example.com or by updating your preferences on your online account https://sparkenergy.co.uk/login. If you’re writing to us, please include your name, address and postcode and whether you’d like to opt out of email, text messages, or both.
You can also tell us at any time that you want us to stop sharing your personal information with other organisations for marketing purposes.
6. How will we comply with data protection laws?
Performance of a contract: we use your data primarily in order to provide you with the products and services that you’ve requested, for example energy products.
Consent: we may provide you with marketing information about our services or products where you’ve provided your consent for us to do so.
Vital interests: in very limited circumstances we may use or share information about you to protect you.
7. Special categories of personal data
Data Protection Laws define certain personal data as falling into ‘special categories of personal data’ such as personal data regarding your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data for the purposes of uniquely identifying a person, data concerning your health (including mental and physical health), or data concerning your sex life or sexual orientation. You may want to provide some information that falls into these special categories if you’d like to be included on our Priority Services Register. If you provide this information, this will be an indication that you explicitly consent to us processing it.
8. What automated decisions do we make about you?
If you’ve not paid for your energy 40 days after payment is due, details of your account will automatically be passed to our collections team and you’ll receive debt recovery communications from us.
9. How we may contact you
We may contact you by email, phone, text or multimedia message or other forms of electronic communication (including, where applicable, a message through your smart meter) or by visiting you (e.g. to take a meter reading).
10. International transfers
Our customer service team is supported by a chat team outside the EEA. If you contact us by chat your customer account including your name, contact details, additional needs, payment history, and tariff choice may be viewed by an agent outside the EEA. Where this is the case we ensure we have a contract in place using model data protection clauses approved by the European Commission.
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website or when you open an email or SMS communication. They’re used to make websites and other forms of communication work more efficiently as well as to track certain actions. You can disable cookies.
When you use our website or communicate with us via email or SMS communication, we may place a cookie on your computer or mobile device. More information about the cookies that we use on our website and why we use them is set out in our Cookies policy, which can be found here.
12. How long your data is kept by us
We will not keep personal information longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes for which they were collected.
We’ll typically keep your personal data for one year from the closure of your account with us in order to enable us to deal with any issues or concerns you may have about how we handled your account, and also to allow us to bring or defend legal proceedings. In some cases, where you’ve made a complaint or owe us money, we’ll need to keep your data for up to six years.
For marketing purposes, where you’ve opted in to hear from us after your contract with us ends, we’ll keep your data for two years after your contract end date or earlier if you, at any time, instruct us.
13. Third Party Websites
We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
Whilst we take appropriate technical and organisational measures and have in place physical and electronic procedures necessary to safeguard the personal information that you provide to us, no transmission to or from us by post, email, phone, SMS or over the Internet can ever be guaranteed as entirely secure. Communications over the web are not secure and as such, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any unauthorised access or loss of personal information.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We’ll notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we’re legally required to do so.
Where we’ve given you (or where you’ve chosen) login details which enables you to access certain services of ours, you’re responsible for keeping these details confidential. You agree that you won’t share your login details with anyone else.
15. Your rights
You have a number of rights under data protection law in relation to the way we process your personal information. These are set out below. You may contact us using the details below to exercise any of these rights and we’ll respond to any request received from you within thirty days.
What does this mean?
1. You have the right to request access to your personal information
You have the right to request confirmation that your personal information is being processed, access to your personal data (through us providing a copy) and other information about how we process your personal information.
2. You have the right to ask us to rectify your personal information
You have the right to request that we rectify your personal information if it’s not accurate or not complete.
3. You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information
You have the right to ask us to erase or delete your personal information where there’s no reason for us to continue to process your personal data. This right would apply if we no longer need to use your personal data so you can use Tili; where you withdraw your consent for us to process special categories of your personal information; or where you object to the way we process your personal information (see right 6 below).
4. You have the right to ask us to restrict or block the processing of your personal information
You have the right to ask us to restrict or block the processing of the personal information that we hold about you. This right applies where you believe the personal information is not accurate. If you’d prefer that we block the processing of your personal data rather than erase your personal information, then you can ask us to do this. You can also ask us to restrict or block processing of your personal information where we don’t need to use your personal information for the purpose we collected it for, but you may require it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims.
5. You have the right to port your personal information
You have the right to obtain and reuse your personal information from us so that you can reuse it for your own purposes across different services. This allows you to move personal information easily to another organisation, or to ask us to do this for you.
6. You have the right to object to our processing of your personal information
You have the right to object to our processing of your personal information on the basis of our legitimate business interests, unless we’re able to demonstrate that, on balance, our legitimate interests override your rights or we need to continue processing your personal information for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
7. You have the right not to be subject to automated decisions
You have the right to object to any automated decision-making, including profiling, where the decision has a legal or significant impact on you.
8. You have the right to withdraw your consent
You have the right to withdraw your consent to our processing of your special categories of personal information.
16. How to find out more
If you have any questions about how we collect, store and use personal information then please contact us:
Visit our website: www.sparkenergy.co.uk/legalstuff
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone us: 0345 034 7474
Write to us: Spark Energy, Ettrick Riverside, Dunsdale Road, Selkirk TD7.
This policy was last reviewed and updated in April 2018.
If you have any concerns regarding our processing of your personal information, or are not satisfied with our handling of any request by you in relation to your rights, please contact us at email@example.com or phone us on 0345 034 7474.
You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office. You can write to the First Contact Team, Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF