At the Environment Centre (tEC) 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.
Sometimes, our funders require us to share some information with them about how the projects they fund are going. Please see the tabs below for further information.
When we record and use your personal information, we:
- Only access it when we have good reason
- Only share what is necessary and relevant
- Don’t sell it to commercial organisations
Please use the tabs below to explore our different projects and their individual privacy policies.
When you get advice from an adviser, we’ll ask you to either:
- Give agreement over the phone
- 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.
We’ll only ask for information that’s relevant to your problem. 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, so we can 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, such as an energy supplier
- Details of items or services you’ve bought and traders you’ve dealt with
- Information such as 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.
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.
In addition, 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.
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.
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.
In addition to the overview information above, if you’re a Southampton resident receiving help through the Southampton Healthy Homes project, we will share some anonymous data to our funders, Southampton City Council, as part of our regular reporting. This information includes:
Your demographic information, such as:
- the number of adults, children and people of a pensionable age living in your home
- your ethnicity
- your gender
- whether anyone in your home is disabled or lives with a long term health condition, including conditions made worse by a cold home
- Why you’re eligible for support e.g. receive welfare benefits, have a low income
- Your housing status (tenure)
- 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 and eligibility route with Southampton City Council if we identify that you may be able to access funding under the flexibility eligibility strand of ECO, with your consent. Southampton City Council will review the information provided and may sign a flexible eligibility declaration form. If deemed eligible, Southampton City Council will need to send a return to Ofgem outlining your address and under what route we are declaring your eligibility for funding.
- Share your contact details and information about why you may be eligible, including a signed ECO declaration form and the works you’re interested in 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.
In addition, we will provide sufficient evidence of eligibility to ensure compliance with the requirements of the ECO scheme, by the administrator Ofgem.
This information applies if you’re a Hampshire resident receiving help through the Hitting the Cold Spots project.
In addition to the overview information above, if you’re being supported to access grants for free or discounted energy efficiency improvements under the ECO scheme, we will:
- Share your contact details, information about why you may be eligible (including a signed ECO declaration form) and the works you’re interested in 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.
This information applies if you’re a Portsmouth resident receiving help through the Switched on Portsmouth project.
In addition to the overview information above, 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.
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 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 your 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 your 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.
If you email 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.
Details of your conversation with an adviser will also be stored on our secured client management system run by Microsoft.