At the Environment Centre we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider energy and affordable warmth issues that affect people’s lives.

We only ask for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, and we explain why we need it. We always treat your information as confidential.

When we record and use your personal information we:

  • Only access it when we have a good reason
  • Only share what is necessary and relevant
  • Don’t sell it to commercial organisations

We handle and store your personal information in line with the law.

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:

  • To comply with the law, called ‘legal obligation’ – for example, if a court orders us to share information
  • To protect someone’s life, called ‘vital interests’ – for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office
  • To carry out our aims and goals as an organisation, called ‘legitimate interests’ – for example, to create anonymous case studies and statistics for our research
  • To carry out a contract we have with you, called ‘contract’ – for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you
  • To defend our legal rights – for example, to resolve a complaint where we gave the wrong advice

How we handle your personal information depends on how you interact with us.

We’ll get your permission by asking you to either:

  • Give agreement over the phone – if you call our advice line
  • Give agreement by email
  • Sign a paper consent form
  • Tick a box online

Before we ask for your permission, we’ll always explain how we use your information.

What information we ask for

We’ll only ask for information that’s relevant to your problem. Depending on what you want help with, this might include:

  • Your name and contact details – so we can keep in touch with you about your case
  • Personal information – for example about family, work, financial circumstances or health conditions exacerbated by the cold, for us to work out the best options available to you and get you the help you need
  • Details about services you get that are causing you problems – like an energy supplier
  • Details of items or services you’ve bought, and traders you’ve dealt with
  • Information like your gender, disability or ethnicity for project monitoring and reports to funders

If you don’t want to give us certain information, you don’t have to. For example, if you want to stay anonymous we’ll only record information about your problem and make sure you’re not identified.

If you’re using our advice line or support services and you’ve been referred to us from another advice charity, they’ll send us your information using a referral form or via our advice line. They’ll get your permission before sending us your information.

How we use your information

The main reason we ask for your information is to help solve your problem.
We only access your information for other reasons if we really need to – for example:

  • For training and quality purposes
  • To investigate complaints
  • To get feedback from you about our services
  • To help us improve our services

All advisers and staff accessing data have had data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

Understanding people’s problems

We use some information to create statistics about who we’re helping and what problems are the most common. This information is always anonymised – you can’t be identified.

We share these with funders, regulators, government departments and publicly on our blogs, reports, social media and press releases.
The statistics also inform our policy research or media work.

When we share your information with other organisations

When we share your information with other organisations

If we think it would help you to share your data with another organisation or person we will ask your permission to do so. We’ll only do this for the purposes of giving you the support you want.
There are some situations in which we might be able to offer you more support if we share your data with other organisations, for example:

  • Other support or advice organisations such as Citizens Advice, debt advice charities, health charities, council support services.
  • Energy efficiency installers – if you’re eligible for free or discounted energy efficiency improvements in your home we may pass on your details to installers to get quotes or to arrange for installation with your agreement.
  • Utilities suppliers or network operators– in some cases it might be necessary to pass on information about you to your energy supplier.

Again, we will only do this with your permission.

Organisations we share your data with must store and use your data in line with data protection law.
Sometimes, our funders require us to share some information with them about how the projects they fund are going.

If you’re a Southampton resident receiving help through the Southampton Healthy Homes project

We are required to share some of your personal information with Affordable Warmth Solutions CIC and Southampton City Council, our funders, as part of our regular reporting. This information includes:

  • your house number and post code
  • your demographic information – like the number of adults, children and people of a pensionable age living in your home
  • whether you receive any benefits
  • your housing status
  • what kind of advice you received and the outcome
  • if you were referred to another organisation

If you’re being supported to access grants for free or discounted energy efficiency improvements under the ECO scheme we will also:

  • Share relevant information including your address with Southampton City Council if we identify that you may be able to access funding under the flexible eligibility strand of ECO. Southampton City Council will review the information provided and may sign a flexible eligibility declaration form.
  • Share your contact details, information about why you may be eligible including a signed ECO declaration form and the works you’re interested with an energy supplier(s) or their agents/installers so they can arrange quotes, confirm whether you can access any grants and complete work with your agreement.

If you’re a Hampshire resident receiving help through the Hitting the Cold Spots project

If you’re being supported to access grants for free or discounted energy efficiency improvements under the ECO scheme we will:

  • hare relevant information including your address with Hampshire County Council if we identify that you may be able to access funding under the flexible eligibility strand of ECO. Hampshire County Council will review the information provided and may sign a flexible eligibility declaration form. HCC’s HTCS privacy policy.
  • Share your contact details, information about why you may be eligible including a signed ECO declaration form and the works you’re interested with an energy supplier(s) or their agents/installers so they can arrange quotes, confirm whether you can access any grants and complete work with your agreement.

If you’re a Portsmouth resident receiving help through the Switched on Portsmouth project

We share some of your personal information with our partners, Portsmouth City Council, as part of our regular reporting. This information includes:

  • your post code
  • your demographic information – like the number of adults, children and people of a pensionable age living in your home
  • why you’re eligible for support
  • your housing status
  • what kind of advice you received and the outcome
  • if you were referred to another organisation

If you’re being supported to access grants for free or discounted energy efficiency improvements under the ECO scheme we will also:

  • Share relevant information including your address with Portsmouth City Council if we identify that you may be able to access funding under the flexible eligibility strand of ECO. Portsmouth City Council will review the information provided and may sign a flexible eligibility declaration form.
  • Share your contact details, information about why you may be eligible including a signed ECO declaration form and the works you’re interested with an energy supplier(s) or their agents/installers so they can arrange quotes, confirm whether you can access any grants and complete work with your agreement.

PCC’s Switched On Portsmouth Privacy Policy.

If you contact us for help through the Green Home Grant LAD scheme (via City Energy)

If you’re being supported to access measures under the GHG LAD Scheme we will process your personal data to identify whether you could receive support from the scheme and refer you for support. The GHG LAD scheme is operated by the West of England Combined Authority and City Energy Group in partnership with South West Energy Hub.

Relevant information shared with City Energy, if you ask us to make a referral, will include:

  • Your name (and details of any other household members)
  • Your address and postcode
  • Details of measures requested
  • Scheme eligibility information including household income
  • Contact details (including email, phone)
  • Contact address (if not the property receiving the measures)

City Energy will then contact you so they can arrange surveys, confirm whether you qualify for the scheme and complete work with your agreement.
Delivery and administration of the Scheme may require linking of your data to other datasets held by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). For further information please read City Energy’s Privacy Statement.

If we’re concerned about yours or someone else’s safety

If something you’ve told us makes us think you or someone you know might be at serious risk of harm, we could tell the police or social services – for example if we think you might hurt yourself or someone else.

Storing your information

Whether you get advice face to face, over the phone, by email or web chat, our adviser will log all your information, correspondence, and notes about your problem into our secure client management system run by Microsoft.

Some of your information might also be kept within our secure email and IT systems.
We keep your information for 6 years and then anonymise it. This means that you can no longer be identified from it. If your case has been subject to a serious complaint, insurance claim or other dispute we keep the data for 16 years.
Our customer database system is hosted within the EEA and wherever possible, the UK.
To the best of our knowledge our trusted partners store their data securely within the European Economic Area (EEA) in line with data protection law.

If you contact us for email advice

If you contact us for advice your email will be stored in our email system run by Microsoft and saved on our secure client management system run by Microsoft.
Emails between you and your adviser are stored within the Environment Centre’s office email system.

If you contact us for help by web chat

If you contact us for advice your personal details will be stored and processed by our web chat provider, LiveChat, Inc in the EEA. Please view the LiveChat privacy policy for more information about the data processing by LiveChat, Inc. Details of your conversation with an adviser will also be stored on our secured clients management system run by Microsoft.

When you use our website, we collect your information in a number of ways.
We use data called ‘cookies’ to get information about how you’re using our website – for example, what pages you click on. Find out more how we collect and use cookies when you browse our website in the section below.

If you use email or a form on our website to contact us for advice you can find out more about how we use and store your information in the section above.

If you’re a referral agent

You can make a referral over the phone or by email with our referral form. We will use your email address to acknowledge receipt of the referral. In the referral form or over the phone we ask for you contact details including name, email and phone number. We use these contact details to let you know we’ve made contact with the client or if we’ve been unable to make contact with the client. With the client’s permission we may use your contact details to update you on the help and support they are receiving from us. We may also use your contact details if there are safeguarding concerns. We don’t share your personal information.
If you contact us requesting a talk, training or more information about our services we will use you name, email address or phone number to arrange this and provide any information. We’ll ask your permission to add you to our contacts list for future updates and events relevant to the service you’re interested in. We don’t share your personal information.
If you complete a service feedback survey, powered by Survey Monkey, we ask for your contact details including name and email. We’d use your contact details to get in touch about your feedback if we need to. It’s optional – you can leave feedback anonymously if you want to. We’ll get your permission to collect your information by asking you to tick a box on our survey form. We don’t share your personal information.

Storing your information

Your information is stored securely on our own internal systems. All volunteers and staff who access your data have had data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.
We keep your data for 6 years and it’s then deleted.
The feedback form itself is provided by our trusted research partner, Survey Monkey. They keep your details securely on their system.

When you use our website, we collect a type of data called cookies which tell us what you’re clicking on.

How we use cookies

When you browse our website, we collect ‘cookies’ to help us understand more about how our site is used by visitors, and to develop and enhance our services to you.
A ‘cookie’ is a bit of information kept on your computer. It tells us things like what device you’re using and what pages you click on.
We use cookies to:

  • Track aspects of user visits, including the length of a user’s visit, their browser, geographic location and the use of the search facility on this website.
  • Remember users selected contrast and/or text resizing style preferences for this website.

First party cookies used on the Environment Centre’s website

The table below lists the cookies that this website may issue:

Cookie What it is used for Expires
_ga These cookies are used for Google Analytics to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. 2 years
_gid This cookie is used for Google Analytics to store and update a unique value for each page visited. 1 day
1p_JAR This cookie is used for Google Analytics to store and update a unique value for each page visited. 7 days
Size, contrast If you choose to resize the text or enhance the colour contrast on our website, these cookies are used to remember your preferred settings. They allow you to look around our website without having to reset the text size or contrast on each new page you visit. They are session cookies, which means they are removed from your device when you close your browser window.
ident If you decide to register or login on our website, we will issue this cookie to keep you logged in as you navigate from page to page.
identu This cookie makes it easier for you to login on return visits to our website. Your username will automatically appear in the login box and you just need to enter your password to login.
nf_htmlonly This cookie simply stores that a user has given implied consent for the use of cookies and prevents the cookie pop-up message from reappearing.

Cookies for measuring use for our website

Cookie Originator What it is used for Expires
_utma Google-analytics.com This cookie keeps track of the number of times a visitor has been to the website, when their first visit was, and when their last visit occurred. 2 years from set/update
_utmb The B and C cookies work together to calculate how long a visit takes. __utmb takes a timestamp of the exact moment in time when a visitor enters a site, while  __utmc takes a timestamp of the exact moment in time when a visitor leaves a site 30 minutes from set/update
_utmc When the user exits the browser
_utmv This cookie is used when site owners create custom visitor-level variables for customising what can be measured. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. 0 days
_utmz This cookie identifies the source of traffic to the site – so Google Analytics can tell site owners where visitors came from when arriving on the site. The cookie has a life span of 6 months and is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics. Find out more about Google’s privacy policy 180 days months from set/update

Cookies set by a third party

To improve user experience, we allow you to share pages of our website via social networking sites, such as Facebook. We may also display content from other websites, such as YouTube or Google maps, on our web pages. Please note that you may be sent cookies from these other websites. We do not control these cookies and advise you to check the relevant third-party privacy policies to find out more about the cookies they use and how to manage them.
The table below lists the third party cookies (issued by other websites) which appear on the Environment Centre’s website.

Cookie Originator What the cookie is used for (where known) Expires
APISID, HSID, NID, SID, SIDCC, PREF .Google.com These cookies are various unique identifiers, except for PREF which stores your options such as preferred zoom level.

A unique reference is given to each computer to allow analysis of requests to Google Maps. Data is only used for overall visitor analysis.

730 days
IDE Doubleclick.net Used by Google DoubleClick to register and report the website user’s actions after viewing or clicking one of the advertiser’s ads with the purpose of measuring the efficacy of an ad and to present targeted ads to the user. 1 year
test_cookie Used by Google DoubleClick to check if the user’s browser supports cookies. End of session
VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE, LOGIN_INFO, HSID, APISID, SIG, PREF YouTube.com This cookie is used as a unique identifier to track viewing of videos. There are some third party cookies associated with the Youtube videos which we embed in our site. These cookies are used to remember your previous selections or preferred settings made when looking at information or using a service. Google use information collected from cookies to improve your user experience and the overall quality of their services. For example, by saving your language preferences, Google will be able to provide you with their services in your preferred language.

Read more on YouTube privacy policy – http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/policies/privacy/

6 months to 10 years
SERVERID, _cookie_id, qca Slideshare.net We use slideshare to share presentations from our events; Slideshare uses the listed session ID cookies to enable certain features of the site, to better understand how you interact with the site and to monitor aggregate usage by visitors and web traffic routing on the site.

Read more on Slideshare privacy policy: http://www.slideshare.net/privacy

At end of session
_twitter_sess .Twitter.com, twitter.com Twitter does not currently provide information on the use of specific cookies.

Read more on Twitter’s privacy policy: http://twitter.com/privacy

0 days
personalization_id 2 years
k 7 days
eu_cn 1 year
External_referer 7 days
guest_id 331 days
remember_checked 3254 days
remember_checked_on 3254 days
secure_session 6906 days
twll 3254 days
auth_token 6906 days
tfw_exp 14 days
pid 547 days
lang 0 days
datr, locale, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref Facebook.com Facebook uses these cookies to enable certain features, and study how visitors use their services. Up to 2 years
_livechat which includes the following parameters lc_all_invitation lc_auto_invites_shown lc_chat_number lc_client_version lc_goals_achieved lc_integration_params lc_lang lc_last_chat_start_time lc_last_conference_id lc_last_operator_id lc_last_operator_key lc_last_operator_key_per_skill lc_last_operator_per_skill lc_last_visit1574079500 lc_nick lc_ok_invitation lc_page_view lc_sessionS1574079500.f400b8ee04 lc_visit_number0 mcid mcid_done Livechat.com The cookie and its parameters) are responsible for a number of things. Including: tracking Greetings displayed, number of chats, version of LiveChat, localization, last operator the visitor chatted with, name of the visitor, session ID, number of visited pages. This cookie is required for the Chat Widget to work properly on visitor side. 3 years

How to control and delete cookies

If you don’t want to receive cookies, you can change settings in your web browser so that your browser tells you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set.
If you wish to restrict or block web browser cookies, the Help function within your browser should tell you how. Alternatively, these sites can provide more information on how to do this:

  • www.allaboutcookies.org
  • www.aboutcookies.org

You can contact us at any time and ask us:

  • What information we’ve stored about you
  • To change or update your details
  • To delete your details from our records

Please contact us via email.

This privacy policy only covers this website environmentcentre.com and its subdomains; other websites linked from this website are not covered by this policy. Once you have accessed another website via one of our links you will be subject to the security and privacy policy of that site.