When you get advice from an adviser

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

  • Give agreement over the phone – if you call our advice line
  • 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 ‘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:

  • Share relevant information including your address with Hampshire County Council if we identify that you may be able to access funding under ‘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 ‘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 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 or by email, 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.

Get in touch with us about your data

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 at enquiries@environmentcentre.com

If you want to make a complaint

If you’re not happy with how we’ve handled your data, you can make a complaint.

You can also raise your concern with the Information Commissioner’s Office.