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Privacy and cookies

This policy applies to personal information we hold about individuals, sole traders and partnerships. It does not apply to information we hold about companies and other organisations.

Centrica plc and its subsidiary companies believe it is important to protect your privacy, and so we are committed to giving you a personalised service that meets your needs in a way that also protects that privacy. This policy explains how we may collect information about you and then use it to meet your needs. It also explains some of the security measures we take to protect your privacy, and tells you certain things we will not do.

When we first obtain personal information from you, or when you take a new service or product from us, we will give you the opportunity to tell us if you do or do not want to receive information from us about other services or products. You can normally do this by ticking a box on an application form or contract. You may change your mind at any time by emailing us at the address below.

1. Collecting information

We may collect personal information about you from a number of sources, including the following:

  • From you when you agree to take a service or product from us, in which case this may include your contact details, date of birth, how you will pay for the product or service and your bank details.
  • From you when you contact us with an enquiry or in response to a communication from us, in which case this may tell us something about how you use our services.
  • From documents that are available to the public, such as the electoral register.

Please note that some of the personal information we hold about you may be 'sensitive personal data' within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 1998 – for example, information about your health or ethnic origin.

2. Using information

2.1

Information you provide or we hold about you (whether or not under our contract (or contracts) with you) may be used by us or our agents (or both) to:

  1. identify you when you contact us;
  2. help identify accounts, services and/or products which you could have from us from time to time. This identification process may be carried out by an automatic scoring system, which takes account of the information you have provided, any information we hold about you and information from third-party agencies (including credit reference agencies).
  3. help run, and contact you about improved running of, any accounts, services and products we have provided before, or provide now or in the future;
  4. carry out marketing analysis and customer profiling (including with transactional information) and create statistical and testing information;
  5. help to prevent and detect fraud or loss; and
  6. contact you in any way (including mail, email, phone, visit, text or multimedia messages) about products and services offered by us and selected partners. We will only contact you in this way if you have previously shown your consent.

2.2

We may allow other people and organisations to use information we hold about you:

  1. to provide the services you have asked for;
  2. as part of the process of selling one or more of our businesses;
  3. if we have been asked to provide information for legal or regulatory purposes; or
  4. as part of current or future legal proceedings.

From time to time, these other people and organisations may be outside the European Economic Area in countries that do not have the same standards of protection for personal data as the UK.

2.3

We may also allow your information to be used by other Centrica Group companies (including those using the British Gas, Scottish Gas, and Dyno Group brands) for them to carry out any of the above purposes.

2.4

We may monitor and record communications with you (including phone conversations and emails) for quality assurance and compliance.

2.5

Where you give us information on behalf of someone else, you confirm that you have provided them with the information set out in this document, and that they have not objected to the uses of their personal information described in it. If you give us sensitive data about yourself or others (such as health details or details of any criminal convictions of members of your household), you agree (and confirm that the relevant subject of the information has agreed) to us processing such information in the manner set out in this document.

3. Protecting information

We have strict security measures to protect personal information. This includes following certain procedures (for example, checking your identity when you phone us) and encrypting (encoding) data on our websites.

4. The internet

4.1

If you communicate with us using the internet, we may occasionally email you about our services and products. When you first give us personal information through our website, we will normally give you the opportunity to say whether you would prefer us not to contact you by email. However, you can always send us an email (at the address set out below) at any time if you change your mind.

4.2

Please remember that communications over the internet, such as emails and webmails (messages sent through a website), are not secure unless they have been encrypted. Your communications may go through a number of countries before they are delivered – this is the nature of the internet. We cannot accept responsibility for any unauthorised access or loss of personal information that is beyond our control.

5. How we use cookies

A cookie is a piece of text that is stored on your computer by your web browser. We use cookies to monitor how people use our site. This helps us to understand how our customers and potential customers use our website so we can develop and improve the design, layout and function of the sites. This means that when you go back to that website, it can give you tailored options based on the information it has stored about your last visit.

More detailed information on cookies can be found at www.allaboutcookies.org.

5.1.How Centrica uses cookies

The cookies used on centrica.com are based on the International Chamber of Commerce guide for cookie categories:

5.1.a          Strictly necessary
5.1.b          Performance
5.1.c          Functionality
5.1.d          Targeting

More information about cookies and our approach to each cookie category is detailed below.

Details about individual cookies used on Centrica.com are listed on the Cookies page.

5.1.a Strictly necessary

'Strictly Necessary' cookies let you move around the website and use essential features like secure areas, shopping baskets and online billing. These cookies don't gather any information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you've been on the internet.

We use these Strictly Necessary cookies to...

  • Identify you as being logged in to centrica.com
  • Make sure you connect to the right service on our website when we make any changes to the way the website works

Cookies we have defined as 'Strictly Necessary' cookies will NOT be used to...

  • Gather information that could be used to advertise products or services to you
  • Remember your preferences or username beyond your current visit

Accepting these cookies is a condition of using the website, so if you prevent these cookies we can't guarantee your security or predict how our website will perform during your visit.

View details of strictly necessary cookies used on Centrica.com

5.1.b Performance

'Performance' cookies collect information about how you use our website e.g. which pages you visit, and if you experience any errors. These cookies don't collect any information that could identify you all the information collected is anonymous and is only used to help us improve how our website works, understand what interests our users and measure how effective our advertising is.

We use performance cookies to...

  • Provide statistics on how our website is used
  • Provide feedback to partners that one of our visitors also visited their website. This lets our partners improve their website, but we don't allow our partners to reuse this information for further advertising
  • Help us improve the website by measuring any errors that occur
  • Test different designs of our website

Using our site indicates that you accept the use of 'Performance' cookies.

Accepting these cookies is a condition of using the website, so if you prevent them we cannot guarantee how our site will perform for you.

View details of performance cookies used on Centrica.com

5.1.c Functionality

'Functionality' cookies are used to provide services or to remember settings to improve your visit.

We use 'Functionality' cookies to...

  • Remember settings you've applied such as layout, text size, preferences and colours
  • Remember if we've already asked you if you want to fill in a survey
  • Show you when you're logged in to the website
  • Share information with partners to provide a service on our website. The information shared is only to be used to provide the service, product or function and not for any other purpose

Cookies defined as 'Functionality' will not be used to...

  • Target you with adverts on other websites

Some of these cookies are managed for us by third parties where this is the case we don't allow the third party to use the cookies for any purpose other than those listed above.

Preventing these cookies may mean we can't offer you some services, and will reduce the support we can offer you. It's also possible that preventing these cookie stops us remembering that you didn't want a specific service.

You can disable these cookies by following the instructions below in section 5.2.

View details of functionality cookies used on Centrica.com

5.1.d Targeting

'Targeting' cookies are linked to services provided by third parties, such as 'Like' buttons and 'Share' buttons. The third party provides these services in return for recognising that you have visited our website.

We do not use targeting cookies on this website.

5.2. How to control and delete cookies

We know that people have concerns about cookies, but we believe that the benefit that you and Centrica plc gain from their proper use is worthwhile. You can delete the files that contain cookies – those files are stored as part of your Internet browser. If you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by centrica.com, or indeed any other website, or if you wish to receive notification of cookie placement requests or decline cookies completely, you can do this through your browser settings. The Help function within your browser should tell you how. Please be aware that declining or denying cookies may prevent you from being able to use the website to its highest capability.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your computer as well as more general information about cookies.

6. Links

This website may contain links to other sites or recommended suppliers. Please remember that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of these other sites. This privacy policy applies only to information collected on this website.

7. Further information

If you would like any more information or you have any comments about our privacy policy, please either write to us at Data Protection Manager, Privacy Unit, Centrica plc, Millstream West, Maidenhead Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 5GD, United Kingdom or email us at CentricaDataProtection@centrica.com. We may amend this policy from time to time, in which case we will publish the amended version on our website, and you can ask us for a copy by writing to the above address or by emailing CentricaDataProtection@centrica.com.