Last updated on 5th May 2022
We are committed to providing our customers with truly excellent customer service. We recognise that customers value their data and privacy, and so we treat our customer information with great care. This webpage sets out how and when we collect, use and share your personal information that you, or others, provide to us.
1. Who we are
2. How do we collect and use your information?
We only collect and process information about you where we have a reason for doing so and only where that reason is permitted under privacy law. This section sets out how we collect and use your information.
3. When you purchase products or services from us
When you purchase products or services from us, we will use your personal information to complete your purchase. The details we collect from you may include your name, address, date of birth, email address, phone number, ICP, vehicle registration, driver’s licence and/or other proof of identity, meter details and payment details such as credit card information or direct debit details.
To complete your purchase, we may share your personal information with third parties involved in the purchase process, such as payment providers and credit reference agencies who we use to assess fraud, credit and/or security risks.
Our third party payment providers may contact you directly to confirm transactions.
Credit reference agencies provide us information about your credit history and we may provide them information about your payment history (both positive and negative) that they use in providing credit references to other organisations.
We need to process your personal information in this way to enter and perform the contract for the product or service you have asked us to supply you with. This may include sending you information, including electronically, about your account, such as statements, payment and meter reading reminders and occasional updates about important changes.
Medical or financial vulnerability
If applicable, we will also collect vulnerability data information when you sign up, such as your age, any disabilities or health conditions or any financial circumstances of you or a member of your household. We record this information in our customer database. We will also share this information with your distribution network and any service providers attending to your supply ( for example a contractor fixing a meter or disconnecting your supply).
It’s important that you keep your personal information up to date, so please let us know if anything changes.
When you phone, email or contact us on social media
When you phone or email us with general queries, we may process your personal information (your name, address, contact details and other personal information you’ve given us) in order to provide the customer services you have asked us to, for example providing more information about our pricing.
We rely on your consent to handle your personal information in this way. If you do not provide us with the information we request from you for customer services purposes (which could include identity or premise use verification) we may not be able to fully answer your queries.
We log and record the interactions you have with us, such as phone calls, email opens and click throughs to help us better service your requests.
This section applies if you have opted in to receive marketing communications from us, have signed up for our services or have previously expressed an interest in our products and services and have not opted out. We will process your personal information (your name, address, contact details and other personal information you’ve given us) to provide you with marketing communications in line with any preferences you have told us about. If you want to opt-out from receiving marketing messages, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We may also share information about our products and services with you via post, phone, targeted or generic adverts on social media, our website or services from other Octopus Energy Group companies.
We never share your information with any third parties for their direct marketing purposes.
Third party platforms
We may sometimes provide personalised advertising via third party platforms. For example, we’ll anonymize your information and reference it against Facebook’s platform. If you have a profile with Facebook, we’ll ask them to exclude you from irrelevant adverts, such as “join Octopus Energy” adverts, and send you more relevant adverts instead. All of this is done without Facebook revealing your identity to us and vice-versa. We do this to ensure that you receive more tailored and relevant information about our products and services.
To make our website better and more secure
We will use your personal information to provide you with a more effective user experience, such as by displaying services we think you will be interested in. Using your information in this way means that your experience of our website will be more tailored to you, and the content you see on our website may differ from someone else.
We also share your aggregated, anonymous data with third party analytics and search engine providers that assist us in the improvement and optimisation of our website.
We will also use your personal information for the purposes of administering our website and making it more secure, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes.
Technical information and analytics
When you visit our website, we will automatically collect the following information:
technical information, including the 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, screen resolution, operating system and platform; and
information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators, clickstream to, through and from our website (including date and time), 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.
We also work closely with various third parties, including advertising networks, analytics providers, hosting providers and search information providers from whom we may also receive general aggregated anonymous information about you.
If you have a smart meter, it will send information to us, and we will collect consumption information directly from the smart meter, in line with the consents we receive from you about this. We need to collect information from your smart meter so we can generate accurate bills for your energy usage.
We may also analyse information we collect from smart meters in order to develop new products and services and to tailor these to your needs. h
If you generate energy or have a battery system
If you generate energy or have a battery system we may be required by rules and regulations to provide this information to the Electricity Industry Registry, Distribution Network and System Operator. We also collect information about this generation and battery systems so we can accurately calculate the payments that are owed to you.
Electric vehicles and charge points
If an Electric Vehicle is charged at the property we supply we may collect your vehicle registration details because we are required to provide these details to the Distribution Network company.
If you sign up to a scheme with us for access to electric vehicle charge points owned by other parties, we will collect information about your consumption as well as your name, address and vehicle information in order to accurately charge you. We will receive your consumption data from the charge point operator, which we will process in order to calculate a charge to add to your account.
Product and Service Development
We are always looking for ways to make energy better, for both our customers and for the planet. We sometimes process your information where we have a legitimate interest for doing so, for example:
to better understand our customer demographic and the content of customer communications and requests to create more relevant campaigns, products and services.
to make predictions about future behaviour based on current behaviour, to help develop and tailor our products and services.
to build a profile personally for you, so we can do things like show you products and services that we think will be of particular interest and relevance to you.
For data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes.
Information we receive from third parties
As well as the information you provide us with directly, we also receive information from some third parties.
We work with various affiliates and partners, such as price comparison websites, telesales agencies and other sales agencies, and if you sign up to our services through one of our affiliates or partners, they may send us your personal information.
With your permission we may also request your usage information from your previous electricity retailer.
We may receive a notification from your landlord or letting agent to let us know that you have moved into a property that we supply. They may provide us with your name and email address, as well as the date that you occupied the property from, and any opening meter readings that were taken.
If you come to us through our friends and family referral scheme, then we will receive your initial details through this link, and we will also tell the person whose link you used that you have done so.
If you use our electric vehicle charge point services, we may receive your location data in line with the location settings on your phone when you use our mobile app. This can be disabled or amended via the relevant IOS/Android platforms.
3. Sharing your information
Our group companies, where necessary for the provision of our services.
Our engineers and other subcontractors we use to help us with installations and to attend emergencies.
Our meter operators, where we may need to share information such as your meter point details and technical details regarding your meter. If there was ever a situation where your meter needed to be exchanged, we would pass your contact details to our meter operator, with your permission.
A network company where it is reasonably required to ensure the safe and reliable supply of electricity to you. We may also provide information to your network company so they can process any trust dividends or rebates.
Anyone who is named and authorised on your energy account.
Our affiliates and partners, including our whitelabel partners and price comparison websites, to the extent necessary to enable us to deliver our services to you.
Payment providers, to help us process your payments to us.
Your new supplier if you move away from us so they can continue to supply you with energy.
Credit reference agencies and fraud prevention agencies, both when you first sign up and routinely whilst you have an account with us to help us assess your ability to pay for your energy bills. Please see our customer terms and conditions for more information on this.
Debt collectors where we have a legitimate interest to recover sums owed to us for our services.
Our telesales and field sales partners, but only where necessary to perform our services.
Electric vehicle charge point operators and associated parties necessary to communicate your usage data where you use our charging network services.
Aggregated smart meter data with our partners and regulatory and industry bodies to assist them with research and studies.
We may also share your information for the following reasons.
If our business, or part of our business, is sold
We will transfer your personal information to a third party as follows:
if we sell or buy any business or assets, we will provide your personal information to the seller or buyer and their advisers (but only to the extent we need to, and always in accordance with privacy legislation); and
if one of the Octopus Energy Group companies, or the majority of its assets, are acquired by somebody else, in which case the personal information held by such company will be transferred to the buyer.
Where we have a legal obligation
In some circumstances we may need to share your personal information if we are under a duty to disclose or share it to comply with a legal obligation or where we are permitted under the Privacy Act 2020. For example, to investigate something like theft or fraud.
In difficult circumstances
We speak to thousands of customers a day, and some of those people will be in difficult circumstances. Occasionally people will share information which indicates that they, or a member of their household, are in imminent danger or at serious risk, and in such circumstances we may refer the situation to relevant authorities or sources of assistance. In such cases, we will consider first and foremost the interests of the person at risk.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your device. Cookies are an essential and widely used tool, and they enable our website to function properly and efficiently, as well as providing us with helpful information about how people use our website.
Turning cookies off
You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of some or all cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies you may not be able to access all or parts of our website, some website features may not work as intended, and your personal data will be less secure.
Remove cookies from your hard drive;
Set your browser to block cookies; and
Set your browser to send you a warning notice before a cookie is stored on your computer.
You might not be able to make the most out of our website without cookies, as some functions need cookies to work. Should you change your mind, simply turn cookies back on.
5. Where is my data stored?
We are based in New Zealand, however some of our related companies or the third parties and agents that we work with may be based in other countries, so their processing of your personal information may involve a transfer of your information outside of New Zealand.
Whenever we transfer your personal information outside of New Zealand, we will always ensure it is protected by making sure we have safeguards in place.
All information that you provide us with is stored on our secure servers, or those of our third parties’ data storage providers.
6. How long do we retain your data for?
We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, regulatory, accounting or administrative requirements.
To determine the appropriate retention period for the personal information we hold, we consider the amount, nature and sensitivity of the personal information, the risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal information, the reasons why we handle your personal information, the applicable legal requirements and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means.
In some circumstances, we may anonymise your personal information (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical analysis, such as looking at email open rates, or to improve our website and develop new products. In these cases, we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.
7. What are my rights under privacy laws?
You have various rights under the Privacy Act 2020, including accessing or correcting your information for most cases. The easiest way to do this is by email to email@example.com
Right to complain
You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner, the supervisory authority for privacy issues in New Zealand.
8. What about websites we link to?
Our website may contain links to third party websites. If you click on a link to any of these websites, you will leave our website and this may allow third parties to collect or share your information.
We have no control over the contents of those third party websites and so will not accept any responsibility or liability for any materials on there. We encourage you to check their privacy policies before you submit any personal information to these websites.
9. Updates and contact