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Privacy policy

This privacy policy governs the collection, storage and use of personal information about individuals collected by Npower Limited and PS Energy Limited ("we", "us" or "our" for short).  It was last updated in July 2017.  Please check back regularly to keep informed of any updates.  Please ensure you read this privacy policy carefully.  If you do not agree with this privacy policy then you should not use this website.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the "Act") specific obligations are placed on us in the way we handle this type of information and the aim of this privacy policy is to let you know what personal information we collect from you when you purchase products and services from us, when you use our website and mobile app, and when you contact us, how we store and use it, and how you can access and manage this information.

Please note that this privacy policy only covers www.powershop.co.uk. Other websites belonging to the npower group accessible via links are not covered by this policy. If you access any of these sites, please check the privacy policy applicable to these sites (if any) before you submit any of your personal information to them.

Our group and your products and services

As our products and services may be provided to you by different companies within our group, it may be that your personal information needs to be passed to the relevant group company or companies. Just so you know other than us, our group companies who may have access to your personal information under this privacy policy include:

Npower Northern Limited Scarcroft Investments Limited
Npower Yorkshire Limited Homepower Retail Limited
Npower Yorkshire Supply Limited Npower Direct Limited
Npower Group plc Npower Commercial Gas Limited
Npower Limited Npower Gas Limited
Innogy SE Npower Northern Supply Limited

So, what personal information do we collect about you?

From you:  We collect the personal information directly from you (such as your name, address etc.) as requested by our signup process online or over the phone and contact forms together with any comments or remarks that you may provide in free text fields or may send to us. We may also collect information about your property's characteristics (for example its age, number of bedrooms) for energy efficiency advice and occupier details (for example the number of people living in the property) for things like assessing vulnerability and providing you appropriate services.

From you about other people:  If you provide information on behalf of anyone else then in doing so you are confirming that you have explained how their information may be used by us and they have given you permission for us to do so.  If you have provided any sensitive information about yourself or others (such as health related information, criminal convictions) you agree (and are confirming that the person who the information is about agreed) that we can use the information as set out in this notice. 

From third parties: We will also collect information from third parties and industry sources who are involved in your electricity supply (such as your distributor, meter equipment owners and meter readers). We may also keep a record of references and information received from third parties (for example from agents you authorise to carry out your switch to Powershop, credit reference or fraud prevention agencies) and of any other correspondence or communication between you and us, whether written, e-mailed, or as a result of visits, interviews or recorded telephone calls, live chats, posts on our blog, filling out the 'contact us' forms on our website or mobile app, posts on our social media sites or feedback given via our mobile apps.

We will (unless it's impractical) tell you, if we obtain and store information from any other source and also how we intend to use it in accordance with this privacy policy.

You must let us know if your information for example your phone number or email address changes so that we can keep this information up to date.

What happens if we think you need extra care

If you elect to go on our Priority Services Register or PSR (which is a service open to certain customers who due to their health, age etc. may require additional assistance), we may use your information and pass it on to relevant industry bodies like electricity distributors, gas transporters, other energy suppliers, any sub-contractors like metering companies that provide field services for us and other trusted charities such as the British Red Cross (as applicable), to enable:

  • us to consider what additional help and support we can provide you,
  • the electricity distributor and gas transporters, so they can tailor their services to help you,
  • trusted charities who may assist during incident situations to support us in safeguarding you;
  • us to commission our contractors like metering companies to provide extra help and services to you;
  • other energy suppliers if you decide to change supplier so that they are aware you may need additional help and support

Your details supplied as part of the PSR will never be used for marketing. You need to let us know if anything changes so we can ensure we provide the most appropriate support for you. If you no longer want to be part of the PSR just let us know. However, if you do this, we may not be able to provide services that are tailored to you or meet your needs. More information is available at powershop.co.uk/PSR.

Whether or not you are registered on the Priority Services Register referred to above if we believe that you need extra care or help or you are in danger of being cut off we may record that in our information about you and may share it where relevant with the organisations described above as well as with social services, medical and healthcare professionals or other similar support agencies if we think they may be able to assist you and ensure you stay on supply. You or a member of your household may need this extra help as a result of your (or their) health, age, disability or financial circumstances or it could be because you are vulnerable for another reason (we assess and record who may require extra help as a result of their circumstances).

How do we use your personal information?

We, npower Limited and PS Energy Limited (or others acting on our behalf) will only use the information you give us, or which we legally receive from another organisation or person (for example, the Land Registry, a landlord, directories such as 192.com or the electoral roll or our agents), to set up and manage your gas or electricity account (or both) with us. We may share it with all relevant industry organisations based on agreed industry processes. We may use it and share it with any npower group company:

  • to help us identify you so we know who we are talking to;
  • to supply you with the services you have asked us for which can for Powershop include loyalty and incentive programmes;
  • to set up and otherwise manage your account, including loyalty and incentive programmes, including conducting credit checks or otherwise assessing your credit worthiness, collecting payments, recovering debts, analysing your account history and improving our service to you which will include sending you:
  • notifications via our mobile app regarding powerpacks so that you have every opportunity to save money;
  • service messages such as meter read and payment reminders, changes to our opening hours by mobile app notifications, text and/or email;
  • account notifications and communications such as price and other terms and conditions changes by mobile app notifications, text and/or email;
  • emails relating to loyalty rewards, customer promotions and competitions run by Powershop, as well as other services offered (for example when Powershop offers gas), unless you opt out of certain types of communications. You will not be able to opt out of receiving service messages relating to matters like payment and your monthly account review.
  • to measure your energy use and to work out your bills;
  • to help prevent and detect debt, theft, fraud or loss of gas or electricity (or both);
  • assess health and safety, environmental and financial risks to you;
  • to provide you with marketing information (including by phone, text message, email and e-marketing i.e. using the internet and digital media technologies (for example social media)) about products and services which we think may benefit you in your everyday lives (if you have not told us you do not want to receive such messages);
  • to arrange for group companies to provide services to you where we do not offer them, and to meet legal or regulatory obligations - for example, if you need or want a prepayment meter, are on a green deal, need energy efficiency advice, or you are not a domestic customer;
  • to train our staff and monitor our services. This will involve us recording our conversations with you or keeping copies of our correspondence with you to make sure we are providing you with a good service and are meeting our legal and regulatory obligations; and
  • for general business purposes, including for general npower group purposes, such as paying our affiliate referral partners such as broker websites like uswitch, carrying out internal reporting, profiling, modelling and analysis, market research, producing statistics, diagnosing problems, testing systems to help improve the way we provide our services and the products and to maximise the effectiveness of npower group customer campaigns to avoid cross-selling of energy by other npower group companies.

Mobile App

IIf you are a customer and choose to use our Mobile App and the functionality (services) it provides (such as updating meter readings, viewing invoices and transactions, purchasing Powerpacks, paying energy bills, seeing your energy usage and contacting Powershop) we will collect information about you and your use of our Mobile App services to help us understand how you are using them, track and administer them and diagnose problems.

The information about your mobile device includes the model and brand, the operating system version, the screen resolution, the date and time on it, video graphics card and memory available, the internet protocol address, and the email address you send any crash reports from. If you are a Powershop customer, we also collect your customer and consumer number and Powershop account customer name. We use Google Analytics tools in our mobile applications (see below for more information about Google Analytics).

Information about your energy use through a smart meter or a traditional meter

Whether you have a smart meter or not, we receive information about your energy use from the meter equipment owners or meter readers through a secure method. This is the Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN), the meter serial number(s) and meter reads. We get meter reads for each of the different registers you have, if you have a meter configuration with more than one continuous time period e.g. controlled/uncontrolled, day/night. With smart meters we receive this information more frequently (usually daily, a day in arrears) and in respect of each period of time you have authorised us to obtain (monthly, daily or half-hourly). We then match that information with the customer information we have, to bill you and to use for the other purposes shown above under 'How we use your personal information'. We have no visibility over what the energy is being used for, or who is using it. Customers with smart meters who have authorised us to obtain half-hourly consumption information will be shown in our online web portal and in our mobile app a 'heat map' which uses colour to distinguish periods of time that have the heaviest or lightest use. Only employees who need to know the information look at and use your consumption information – for example if you ring our call centre with a query.

How we may share your information

We may pass information about you to our agents and service providers for the following purposes:

  • Agents acting on our behalf to provide the services you have asked for or to carry out profiling, modelling and analysis, market research, statistical analysis and the testing of our systems to help improve the way we provide our services and the products that we are able to make available to you.
  • Relevant industry organisations and agencies, based on agreed industry processes.
  • Credit-reference and fraud-prevention agencies (see 'How we may share your personal information with credit-reference agencies' below for more details). We may use this information to help us assess your ability to pay our bills and to make decisions about the products and services that we offer you.
  • If we suspect someone has committed fraud or stolen energy by tampering with the meter or diverting supply we'll record those details on your account and may share that information with Ofgem and other interested people such as other energy suppliers, landlords and housing associations (see 'Theft and Fraud Prevention' below for more details).
  • Relevant law enforcement agencies or government agencies where we have been asked to provide the information for legal or regulatory reasons for example by a lawyer or Ofgem (if we receive a legitimate request for the information).
  • If you do not pay a debt, we may ask a debt recovery agent to pursue that debt on our behalf or we may transfer your debt to another organisation and give them details about you and that debt or we may use a credit reference agency or fraud prevention agency to trace you if you have not provided your contact details or a forwarding address so that we can recover your debt or we may pass your details on as part of current or future legal action.
  • For regulatory purposes to Ofgem (or any organisation which takes over Ofgem's role) or directly to an agent acting on their behalf, or as part of a government data-sharing initiative for example ones aimed at helping people who cannot afford to pay for their heating and electricity. They may pass that information to other agencies to be analysed or for other purposes relevant to their request or investigation.
  • If an organisation takes over all (or nearly all) of our business or assets, we may pass your personal information to them and we reserve the right to tell your future service provider of any debt you may have with us.

This may involve passing your information outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) to countries that do not have the same data protection standards as we do in the UK. If we, or our agents and service providers, do this, we will make sure that it happens with the relevant legal protection in place.

Please note that we reserve the right to access and disclose individually identifiable information to comply with any applicable laws and lawful government requests, to operate our systems properly, to protect both ourselves and our users, and where we are approached by a potential buyer of our business or assets, or in relation to any joint venture or business arrangement.

Theft and Fraud Prevention

If we suspect that someone has committed fraud or stolen energy by tampering with the meter or interfering with the supply we will record this information on your account and we may share this information (for as long as you have an account with us) on a regular basis (including occupier details, property type and consumption data), with the industry appointed TRAS Fraud Prevention Agency (including their sub-contractors (if any) who will use that information and that of other customers (whether or not supplied by us) to check public and other databases they hold or have access to so that they can profile geographical, behavioural and other similar trends for the purpose of theft and fraud risk assessment and to generate leads based on that analysis which they will pass on to us for the purpose of preventing and detecting the theft of energy and the prosecution of offenders ("theft leads").

The TRAS Fraud Prevention Agency will hold this information and may provide it to other energy suppliers (where you have an energy account with them) or to Ofgem and other industry bodies in accordance with agreed industry processes and the information may continue to be used even following termination of this agreement where you are supplied by a different supplier.

We may use any information we have collected as well as any theft leads received from third parties including the TRAS Fraud Prevention Agency to (where relevant and appropriate) detect, investigate, pursue (including prosecute) and prevent (in so far as possible) theft and fraud.

If we suspect or confirm that you have committed energy theft a record of this will be kept by us and the TRAS Fraud Prevention Agency and this may include recording sensitive personal information such as alleged criminal offences you have been accused of. We may use this information to assist us in making decisions about your payment arrangements and the products and services we offer you in the future.

How we may share your personal information with credit-reference agencies

We will search the files of credit-reference agencies, and gather information from fraud-prevention agencies and use information we already hold about you for internal credit risk and debt management purposes and to help us assess your ability to pay our bills and to make decisions about the payment arrangements that are most suitable for you and the products and services that we can offer you. We may also use the information to verify your identity and to assist in the prevention of crime. Set out below is a brief guide to how we and the credit reference agencies and fraud prevention agencies will use your information. We will check your details with one or more credit reference agencies. We may also use information that we already hold about you in relation to your account.

You must ensure that if you are providing information about other people that they agree to us having their information for the purposes you are providing it. If you give us false or inaccurate information and/or we suspect or identify fraud or theft of energy we will record this and may also pass this information to fraud prevention agencies and other organisations (such as the police) involved in crime and fraud prevention who may also use this information.

When credit reference agencies receive a search from us, for example, when you apply to take supply from us or when you move home, they will place a search footprint on your credit file that may be seen by other organisations.

We may share information on your accounts that we hold or open for you and how you manage it/them to credit reference agencies and where relevant with fraud prevention agencies. We may access and use information from such agencies to check any applications you make for credit, to check your identity, to recover debt. If you owe us money and when requested, do not repay in full and on time, credit reference agencies will record the outstanding debt. If we consider that your account is in default (i.e. you have not paid us and are in breach of your agreement with us) we will notify you and if you do not pay us we will report the unpaid debt to credit reference agencies who will record that default on your credit file. If you set up an instalment plan or some form of payment arrangement with us then a payment arrangement flag may be recorded on your file. We may record such a flag irrespective of whether or not you are a current customer with us or a previous customer whose account was closed with an outstanding debt that remains to be paid by you.

The information we share may be supplied to other organisations (such as banks, other utility companies, companies who offer you credit to purchase goods and services) by credit reference agencies and fraud prevention agencies to perform similar checks to those set out in d) above and to trace your whereabouts if you have moved without providing a forwarding address so that they (and we) can recover debts that you owe. The credit reference agencies keep records for 6 years after your account has been closed, you have paid the debt or action has been taken against you to recover the debt.

We and other organisations may access and use, from other countries, information recorded by fraud prevention agencies.

Your data may also be used for other purposes for which you give your specific permission or, in very limited circumstances, when required by law or where permitted under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.

If you would like more information, you can find a full version of how your data will be used and shared with credit reference and fraud prevention agencies here or you can call us on 0800 009 3719 (generally free from most landlines and should be free from a mobile) and we will email you further details. If you would like to see what information a credit reference agency or fraud prevention agency holds about you, you can contact those currently operating in the UK . The information they hold may not be the same so it is worth contacting them all. They will charge a small statutory fee.

CallCredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or call 0330 0247574 or log onto www.callcredit.co.uk

Equifax PLC, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 3001, Bradford, BD1 5US or call 0800 014 2955 or 0333 321 4043 or log on to www.equifax.co.uk

Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF or call 0344 481 0800 or 0800 013 88 88 or log on to www.experian.co.uk.

Data Retention

The terms under which we are licensed by Ofgem to supply electricity to you require that where, prior to your signing a contract with us and becoming a customer, we suppled you with an estimate or price comparison we must maintain a record of the information we provided for a period of two years after the date of the contract.

In accordance with our obligation imposed by Ofgem we will retain details of any quote or price comparison provided to you for a period of two years from the date of the contract between us.

After you cease to be a customer we will still use your personal information for our general business purposes (such as in aggregated consumption data), to call you if you switch away to finalise your account and get your feedback, and if you owe us money we will still use your personal information to recover money from you or if we want to list any payment defaults with a credit agency. After that we may still keep your information but only in so far as is necessary for business, legal, tax and regulatory purposes.

Cookies and Website analytics

Like most websites, our website uses "cookies" - small text files that are saved to your computer. More details about cookies, how we use them and how you can disable them can be found at www.powershop.co.uk/cookies-policy

We use services such as Google Analytics and Google Experiments to collect information about our websites and mobile applications and help us analyse them, better configure our service and messages, track the performance of referring websites, administer our websites and monitor your interactions with our websites. These services collect a range of anonymised information, such as the number of visitors on our sites per day, which pages they visit, some content they enter, see and interact with when they visit and use our sites, their computer's internet protocol address and operating system, the date and time of their visit, browser type and language, referring website addresses, and the types of devices using our websites and mobile applications. They also infer or collect demographic profiles about our website users, (e.g. age and gender) which are inferred through a range of techniques including cookies from websites you visit and in the case of Google Analytics from other Google services. See below for a description of the types of cookies we use.

When Google Analytics or Google Experiments receives aggregated anonymised personal information, that information is transferred, processed and stored on Google servers around the world by Google in accordance with Google's privacy policy available at http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/

We use Google Remarketing as a method of targeting our advertising. Remarketing is a way for us to connect with visitors using Google advertising cookies, based upon your past interactions with Powershop's websites. As a result, third­ party vendors, including Google, may use cookies to show Powershop ads to you as you visit third party sites on the internet. You can adjust your settings so that you opt-out of Google advertising cookies- see Google Analytics for help.

Security

Whilst we take steps to protect user privacy, no data transmission over the internet can be entirely secure. We therefore do not guarantee the security of personal information that you send to us, or your use of the site. Any personal information you do send is at your own risk but once we receive it we use strict procedures to safeguard it.

If you are a Powershop customer, you are responsible for your email address and password. Your user name and password can only be used in connection with purchasing products for the supply of energy to your property or properties. You should not tell anyone else your password or user name, and if you do, you are responsible for paying for energy they buy from us.

When you use your debit card or credit card during signup or on our online web portal, the debit card or credit card information is transmitted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol, this encrypts your information. Powershop keeps only some of your debit card or credit card details. However your full credit card and debit card details will be encrypted and securely stored by our online payment providers (currently Mastercard and Lloyds). Make sure you always logout when you have finished using the Powershop customer website, especially if you access Powershop from a shared computer.

If you have consented to us sending you marketing material...

...you may opt out at a later date. You have a right at any time to stop us from contacting you for marketing purposes by calling our call centre on 0800 009 3719 or by unsubscribing from the emails using the link in them.

How can you find out what personal information we hold about you?

Just ask us! You are entitled to see the personal information that we hold about you at any time. (If you write to, email or phone us and ask to see this information, it is known as a 'subject access request' or 'SAR' for short) You can do so by:

  • Call us on 0800 009 3719 (free from most landlines) ;
  • Contacting us using the 'Contact us' forms on our website www.powershop.co.uk or our mobile app; or
  • Writing to us at Data Protection Officer, Powershop, Units 103-105, Scott House, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Birmingham B9 4AA..

When we receive your request we will send you a form to fill in. If you do not return the form, we will not be able to deal with your request.

Even if you don't want a copy of your personal information, you can still contact us to check that the personal information that we hold is accurate, or to let us know of any changes to your personal information. We always try to ensure that the information that we hold is accurate, up to date and relevant. We'll be more than happy to make changes or to correct any inaccuracies.

External links from our site

From time to time we may include hypertext links to sites which are created by individuals and companies outside of our group companies. We do this when there is a particular relevance to the topic you're reading about. Whilst we endeavour to check that the content of these sites is suitable, we unfortunately cannot take any responsibility for the practices of the companies who publish the sites that we link to, nor the integrity of the content contained within them.

What if we update our privacy policy or you have any questions?

We do keep our privacy policies under regular review but we will email our customers regarding any changes. You'll be able to read about any updates on this page - as soon as they happen.

If you have any questions or if you feel that we are not complying with the terms of this privacy policy please do contact us through using the 'Contact Us' forms on our website or our mobile app, calling our call centre on 0800 009 3719 or emailing privacy@powershop.co.uk

# Phone calls: Calling us on a 0800 number is normally free when you call from a landline but charges may vary if you use a mobile.

 

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