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Our cookie policy

What are cookies?

Like most websites, First Utility uses an internet browser feature called cookies. A cookie is a simple piece of text that gets stored on your computer when you visit First Utility web pages. They help to tell us how existing and potential customers are using our site, which in turn, enables to us to continually improve how the site works, looks and delivers information to customers.

When you visit www.first-utility.com for the first time a cookie will be stored on your computer. When you come back again we’re able to recognise that you’re a returning visitor and can automatically detect that you’ve been here before. We can then tailor the information you subsequently receive to improve your online experience.

Are there different types of cookies?

There are a number of different cookie types. Each has a specific function and helps to improve how www.first-utility.com works.

Strictly necessary

This type of cookie is essential to recognise you as an existing user and enable you to log in to your account.

Performance

This type of cookie provides useful information about how you’re using the site, the length of time you’re on there and how you found your way to www.first-utility.com. They help us to understand customer behaviour more effectively with a view to improving how the site works for existing and potential customers.

Functional

This type of cookie remembers choices that you’ve made on previous visits, the tariffs you’ve looked at for instance. If you’ve asked for a quote, for example, this cookie will keep a record to help us understand more clearly what type of information you’re trying to find on the site.

Targeting cookies

This type of cookie is used by third party organisations, such as advertising networks and providers, to collect information about your browsing habits and target specific types of advertising to you.

Why does First Utility use cookies?

We use cookies to ensure that when you visit our website we can give you the best possible user experience. This means that whenever you re-visit the site we can remember earlier choices you have made, your specific user details and how effectively the site is working for you.

Once we have this information we can make your online experience quicker, because you don’t have to re-submit information we already have, easier, because by understanding how you use the site we can make it easier for you to get the best out of it and richer, because the information you receive will be personalised to you.

What information is collected and what types of cookies are used by First Utility?

First Utility uses a number of different cookies across its website:

Cookies used on www.first-utility.com

Analytics cookies: _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz, fu_ac, fu_upsell.

These cookies show us how visitors navigate through the site, how long they stay on each page and whether they are a first time or a returning visitor. These cookies cannot be used to identify individuals; they are used for statistics only.

Session cookie: has_js

This is used to determine whether or not you have javascript turned on. It allows the website to serve up content in a more efficient manner by preventing the need for you to download unnecessary content which can be generated or retrieved later by javascript. This cookie also improves web page load times and responsiveness. It expires at the end of the browser session (when you leave the website).

Functional cookies:

Registration cookies are used in various ways across the main website and the My Account area. These cookies allow you to save and return to the registration form and see the data you have already entered. It allows us to pass through any price information we gave you during the price calculation process so that the tariff you selected appears on the registration form.

These cookies are also used in your online account so we know which services to show you. For example if you are a Smart customer you will see your smart meter data and if you are an iSave customer you see a screen where you can submit your meter readings.

These cookies can also be used to indicate whether you would like to be remembered between sessions. This means for example that if you selected the remember me option, you could close your computer, and be automatically logged in on returning to the site.

Third Party cookies: we use session cookies to allow us to show you the live chat option on certain pages of the website. They identify which page you are on and how long you have been on that page but do not personally identify you even if you are logged in.

We also use cookies provided by third parties such as affiliates (switching sites for example) who want to track how many people are accessing First Utility from their website. These cookies are the responsibility of the affiliate site and fall under their policies.

Should I be worried about First Utility’s use of cookies?

Although cookies can be used to track movements across and between websites, they do so without identifying any personal or confidential information about existing or potential First Utility Customers. As stated previously, our use of cookies is purely based on enhancing our customer’s online experience.

And remember most of the cookies we use on our website are what’s known as ‘session cookies’. Some expire as soon as you leave the site, most expire within 30 days of your visit and certain cookies, those associated with google analytics for example, expire automatically after six months.

How do we protect your information?

Protecting your personal information is a priority for First Utility. To view our Privacy Policy in full, please take a look at the information contained here.

First Utility cookies policy

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 statistical information to owners of the website.

By using this website you agree to the use of the cookies below.

  • Persistent cookies, for example are used to avoid the need for you to tell us your account details at each visit.
  • Third party cookies that are used by our sales partners or affiliate network.
  • 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.

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.

Our web site may contain links to other websites which are outside our control and are not covered by this Privacy Policy. If you access other sites using the links provided the operators of these sites may collect information from you which will be used by them in accordance with their privacy policy, which may differ from ours. We cannot be responsible for personal information that third parties may collect, store and use through their website. You should always read the privacy policy of each website you visit carefully.

Where can I find out more about cookies?

There’s a wealth of information about what cookies, how they’re used by websites and what you can do to control their use available on the internet. We think a good place to start to get an overview of what cookies are is www.aboutcookies.org

If you’d like to learn more about the regulations that govern the use of cookies in the UK, just take a look at the information provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies.aspx

How to control cookies

Take control of your cookies

You don’t have to accept cookies on any site if you don’t want to and pretty much every browser gives you an option to turn them off completely or only accept certain types. It’s important to remember, however, that if you limit the cookies you accept or turn them off completely you may find that websites don’t work as well or as quickly when you visit them.

To adjust the cookie options on your browser, take a look at the instruction for most types of browser below.

Internet Explorer 8 and later versions

  1. Go to the Tools menu and choose Internet Options
  2. Click on the Privacy tab and you’ll see a slider that allows you to change your settings.
  3. The slider allows a range of settings, from Block all Cookies to Accept all Cookies. Simply choose the level of protection you desire and click ‘OK’.

There are more advanced settings that you can access by clicking advanced in the dialogue box. If you choose this option you can modify your settings more precisely.

For full details about the options available to you, take a look here.

Google Chrome

  1. Go to the spanner icon on the toolbar.
  2. Click on settings and select under the hood.
  3. Choose the content settings in the privacy section and click the Cookies tab in the box that appears.
  4. Choose the level of protection you require and close the dialogue box.

For full details about the options available to you, take a look here.

Firefox 3+ for Windows

  1. Go to the Tools menu and select Options (If you’re using Linux you’ll need to go to the Edit menu and select Preferences).
  2. Click on the Privacy tab and select Cookies (If that option isn’t available, select ‘Use custom settings for history’ from the drop down menu) and choose the level of protection you require.

Firefox 3+ for Mac

  1. Go to the Firefox or Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Click on the Privacy tab, select Cookies (If that option isn’t available, select ‘Use custom settings for history’ from the drop down menu) and choose the level of protection you require.

For full details about the options available to you, take a look here.

Safari 4+

  1. Got to the Safari menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Select the Privacy tab and choose your required settings.

For full details about the options available to you, take a look here.

Mobile browsers

Mobile browsers have their own settings for cookies. Choose from the list below to learn how to take control of them.

Need help?