1. Your details: What we hold and the purposes for which information is used
(A) What we hold
We collect information about you from a number of sources in order to provide you with our services. These sources may include:
1. Details we require from you in order to open an account for you including information from your previous supplier and credit reference agencies.
This information may include information about meter readings, meter type, outstanding payments and debt recovery.
When credit reference agencies receive a search from Us they will record this on your credit file whether your application is successful or not. Credit reference agencies may keep records for six years either:
(a) after your account has been closed;
(b) you have paid all outstanding payments to us; or
(c) action has been taken to recover any outstanding debt.
2. Your meter or smart meter;
3. From public records such as the electoral register and fraud prevention agencies;
4. When you subsequently communicate with us or respond to a communication
5. When you complete our surveys, provide feedback, send us enquiries or enter our competitions. This may cover anything from your contact and delivery details, or your responses to questionnaires and feedback you have provided.
7. We also collect information when you complete our surveys, provide feedback, send us enquiries or enter our competitions. This may cover anything from your contact and delivery details, or your responses to questionnaires and feedback you have provided.
8. If you have joined First Utility as a smart meter customer, we collect information from the smart meter showing your gas and electricity usage data and billing information. You can access this information via the secure customer portal.
(B) Purposes for which used
We use this information for a number of purposes such as:
1. To verify you as a customer in order to provide you with relevant information and services
2. To search credit reference agencies for information about you and carry out checks to confirm your identity . If you give us false or inaccurate information we may pass your information to credit reference and fraud prevention agencies.
3. To allow us to take over your utility supply from your previous utility provider
4. To let you know how much energy you have used, and what charges will apply
5. To update or maintain your account details or to communicate with you by letter, email or telephone
6. To let you know about our products, services or campaigns that we think may be of interest to you. If you choose to partially complete your online application and select “Save For Later” we will send you an email providing information of how you can access your application. Once you become a first: utility customer we will send you a confirmation & welcome email. If you wish to unsubscribe from emails you can contact us at any time.
7. To disclose information about you and the services We provide you with to your new utility supplier should you wish to change your supply.
2. Passing on your details
2.1 We will only pass on personal information about you to third parties to enable us to provide our services or with your prior consent. Once you have given consent you can, at any time, ask us and any relevant third parties to cease passing on your personal information and we/they will cease providing such services to you.
2.3 We will from time to time engage with third parties for the purpose of providing research and insight into how our customers interact with the smart meter data. In these circumstances customer data will always be kept anonymous. The output from such research will be used to improve our products and services.
3. How your smart meter data is used
If you sign up to our 'smart as standard' service you will receive a free meter upgrade. This means we will replace you gas and electricity meters with smart meters. Once these meters are up and running they will record your electricity usage every 30 minutes and your gas usage daily. These reads will be stored in your smart meters and sent to us daily via a mobile communication message. These reads will be added your personal online account and you will have access to them 48 hours after they have been collected. The reads will be displayed in easy to read graphs and can be viewed daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. You will also have the opportunity to download the data in a CSV file format. Only you have access to this information which is accessed using a unique username and password that you will be asked to set up once you have registered for gas and electricity with us. Your meter data will also be used by us to calculate how much gas and electricity you have used. This information will be used in your monthly bill and may be shared anonymously with third parties in order to improve first utility's products and services.
If you decide to switch to another supplier we will use the smart meter reads to provide a closing read to your new supplier. This is to ensure you are only charged for the gas and electricity you have used while you are still on supply with us.
4. Removing your details
5.1 When you sign up as a new customer with us we work to protect the security of your information during transmission from your computer to us by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts the information you input. SSL is an industry standard protocol for encryption over the internet.
When information is encrypted it is scrambled for transmission between your computer and our server. The information is only unscrambled when it reaches us safely. This is a secure data transfer method and ensures that your personal information cannot be read by anyone else. When you sign up with us as a customer none of the information that you provide during the registration process is stored on Our website, instead it is passed to our secure servers for storage.
6. Data Transmissions from our Home Displays (IHDs)
Information transmitted from our IHDs is sent either using private networks or in an encrypted form using public and private key encryption. Every meter has its own unique key identifier.
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit or emails that you open. They are used extensively in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently as well as provide marketing information to owners of the website.
The following cookies maybe used on your visit to the first:utility website including the online customer account area .
a) Persistent cookies, for example are used to avoid the need for you to tell us your account details at each visit.
b) Email cookies which are set on your computer by an email from first:utility.
c) Third party cookies that are used by our sales partners, affiliate network or our online advertising supplier.
d) In addition any visitor that has clicked on a First Utility advertisement on another website that links to www.first-utility.com will be sent anonymous cookies that will allow us to analyse advertising effectiveness.
If you delete your cookies, some features of our website such as remembering your login details will not function as a result. You may at any time request us to stop using cookies by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 came into force on 25 May 2011. The regulations require the user's consent before using cookies. The Information Commissioner's Office has granted organisations a year to work out how they will address the new law. First Utility is taking steps to meet the new legislative requirements.
8. Overseas Data Transfers
first utility partners with various trusted organisations to provide its services which are located outside or which use suppliers which are located outside of the European Economic Area ("EEA"). The data that we collect from you may therefore be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the EEA (for example in the US and in China).
These third parties may be engaged in, amongst other things, providing services such as analytical research services and direct marketing.