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. 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, or you can manage your information settings when you login to your online account via our website and/or App.
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, comply with our legal and regulatory obligations, 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. Alternatively, you can manage your information settings when you login to your online account via our website and/or app.
2.3 We may disclose information to the TRAS fraud prevention agency to help prevent and detect debt and fraud including energy theft and loss. We and the TRAS fraud prevention agency will keep a record of your information which may include information relating to your property type and energy consumption as well as sensitive personal information including that relating to criminal convictions if we believe you may have committed energy theft.
2.4 We will from time to time engage with and disclose information to third parties for the purpose of providing research and insight into how our customers interact with the smart meter data and to satisfy our monitoring and compliance obligations to Ofgem. The output from such research will be used to improve our products and services and to monitor the quality of our smart meter installation service.
3. How your Smart Meter data is used
3.1 If you have a Smart Meter it will record your electricity or gas usage at regular intervals These reads will be stored in your smart meters and sent to us via a mobile communication message. Your meter data will 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.
3.2 For more information about the data that is collected from your Smart Meter, what it’s used for and your rights and choices please see our Data Guide which is available in the Help & Advice section of our website.
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.
5.2 Our services are optimised for an enhanced online experience through compatible devices such as laptops, PCs, tablets and mobile phones. We recommend that you install security / anti virus software on any such device before accessing the internet. Please see our Domestic Terms & Conditions for further information.
5.3 Responsibility for the security of information once it reaches you or contained on any such device or within any medium whatsoever including but not limited to letter, email, App, your Online Account, or IHD supplied with your Smart Meter, rests with you alone. You should take appropriate measures to ensure that any device you use to monitor or manage your account including but not limited to your IHD, mobile phone, tablet, laptop or PC is secure and not accessible to anyone other than you the account holder, unless with your permission.
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 email@example.com.
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.
7. 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, processed and stored at, a destination outside the EEA.
These third parties may be engaged in, amongst other things, providing services such as analytical research services and direct marketing.