Privacy policy

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 data 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.

This privacy policy was last updated on 25 April 2020.

1. Who we are

We are Octopus Energy Limited, with registered company number 09263424 and registered address at 33 Holborn London EC1 2HT. We trade from UK House, 2nd floor, 164-182 Oxford Street, London W1D 1NN so are best contacted at that address.

We have appointed a data protection officer, Lynne Higgins, who is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to this privacy notice. So if you have any questions, or any requests to exercise your legal rights, please do contact Lynne by email at dpo@octoenergy.com.

2. How do we collect and use your data?

When you purchase products or services from our website

When you purchase products or services from our website, 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 and payment details.

If applicable, we will also collect vulnerability data 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 on our priority services register, which helps us provide extra support to you (please refer to www.octopus.energy/policies/extra-support for more information).

It’s important that you keep your personal information up to date, so please let us know if anything changes.

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.

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 about your account, such as statements, payment and meter reading reminders and occasional updates about important changes, such as updates to your tariff.

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 data we request from you for customer services purposes, 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.

Marketing communications

This section applies if you have opted in to receive marketing communications from us 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.

Where you have opted to receive marketing communications, we rely on your consent to contact you for marketing purposes. If you have not opted in and we send you marketing emails, we do this because of our legitimate interest to promote the success of the products and services you have expressed an interest in.

Every email we send to you for marketing purposes will also contain instructions on how to unsubscribe from receiving them, or you can contact us anytime at hello@octopus.energy.

We may also use the basis of legitimate interest to share information about our products and services via post, phone, targeted or generic adverts on our website or services from other Octopus 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 hash your data (so no one can view it) 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 on the basis of legitimate interest to ensure that you receive more tailored and relevant information about our products and services.

If you are part of an industry scheme

If you apply for or enquire about either the Warm Home Discount scheme, or the Energy Company Obligation scheme, we will collect information relevant to the provision of these schemes, including your name, address, contact details and any eligible benefits you receive. We do this in order to fulfil our obligations in providing these schemes.

If you have a Green Deal Plan, we will collect information about you to manage this for you, for example your name, contact details, Green Deal Plan ID, daily charges and other information about the energy supply at your home. We can also get this information from your Green Deal Provider or others involved in your Green Deal Plan. We may share the information we hold on you with others involved in your Green Deal Plan, including the Secretary of State, in order to properly administer your plan.

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. We process your data for this reason because we have a legitimate interest to provide you with the best experience we can, and to ensure that our website is kept secure.

You can prevent us from using your personal information in this way by using the “do not track” functionality in your internet browser. If you enable “do not track” functionality, our website may be less tailored to your needs and preferences.

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.

Smart meters

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. We do this because of our legitimate interest to develop new products and services for the energy market.

If you generate energy

If you generate energy, for example under our Outgoing Octopus tariff or through the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, we collect information about this generation so we can accurately calculate the payments that are owed to you. If you are eligible for the FiT scheme, we will also ask for information to confirm both your identity and your FiT installation, so that we can comply with our obligations under the FiT scheme.

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 door-to-door sales agencies, and if you sign up to our services through one of our affiliates or partners, they may send us your personal information.

We also have access to the national energy databases, and we may receive information about your property, meter details and previous suppliers from these databases.

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.

We may also receive personal information from your old supplier when you move to us, if they hold information that we need to in order for us to provide our services to you.

3. Sharing your information

Where we share your information with any third parties, we always do so in line with this privacy policy and in compliance with data protection laws. We also ensure that these third parties only use your data in line with our instructions. Some of the organisations we may share your information with include:

  • 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.
  • 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 domestic customer terms and conditions, www.octopus.energy/policies/terms-and-conditions for more information on this. There is also more information contained in TransUnion’s Credit Reference Agency Information Notice, which can be found here www.transunion.co.uk/crain.
  • 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.

We may also share your information for the following reasons.

If 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 (but only to the extent we need to, and always in accordance with data protection legislation); and
  • if Octopus Energy Limited, or the majority of its assets, are acquired by somebody else, in which case the personal information held by Octopus Energy Limited will be transferred to the buyer.

We process your personal information in this way because we have a legitimate interest to ensure our business can be continued by 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 to allow us to comply with our supply licence conditions and other Ofgem obligations. For example, to investigate something like theft or fraud.

4. Cookies

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.

How do we use cookies?

Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good user experience when you browse our website and keeps your visit secure from cross-site forgery. It also allows us to improve our website, and we use cookies to do helpful things, such as submitting your meter readings through our website, or remembering which tariff you’ve selected for your quote. By continuing to browse our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Please note that third parties (including, for example, advertising networks and providers of external services like web traffic analysis services) may also use cookies, which we do not have any control over. These cookies are likely to be analytical/performance cookies or targeting cookies.

Octopus character

You may notice the Octopus character in the corner of your screen letting you know how charged your current device is, and whether carbon intensity is currently high. This information does not use cookies. The information about your device's battery percentage and whether it's charging or not is taken from the browser battery status API www.w3.org/TR/battery-status, and the carbon intensity levels are taken from the carbon intensity API www.carbonintensity.org.uk. Both of these APIs are open to all sites, and the former is one of many endpoints that a browser exposes. You can stop a website from retrieving information about your devices’ battery status in the settings of your browser of choice. The Octopus character's only cookie use is to remember not to re-appear for a while after you've dismissed it.

Types of cookie we use

Name Purpose Cookies

Amazon Web Services

Aids the distribution of sessions across AWS instances & handles cross-origin

AWSALB
AWSALBCORS

Inspectlet

User experience analytics for improvement and optimisation

__insp_nv
__insp_slim
__insp_targlpt
__insp_targlpu
__insp_uid
__insp_wid

Stripe Payments

Manages credit card payments without storing card details

__stripe_mid

Facebook Advertising

Facebook Pixel to improve ad relevance & performance

_fbp
fr

Google Analytics & Advertising

Analytics for improvement, optimisation and advertising performance

_ga
_gat_UA-67011385-1
_gcl_au
_gid
IDE
NID

Hotjar

User experience analytics for improvement and optimisation

_hjIncludedInSample
_hjid

Cross-site security

Security cookie to protect against cross-site request forgery

Csrftoken

Octopus Application & User Management

For tracking if customers are signed in, database routing, cookie messages and site personalisation

dismissCookieMessage
isLaptop
octosession
multidb_pin_writes

Intercom

Enables personalised user support and communication

intercom-id-*
intercom-session-*

New Relic

Performance monitoring

JSESSIONID

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.

If you don’t want us, or anyone else, to use cookies in your browser, you can:

  • 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.

For more information on cookies, this website may help www.allaboutcookies.org. This website is not owned or run by Octopus, but we think it’s helpful.

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 and she'll be apples.

5. Where is my data stored?

We are based within the UK, however some of the third parties we work with may be based outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), so their processing of your personal information may involve a transfer of data outside of the EEA.

Whenever we transfer your personal information outside of the EEA, we will always ensure it is protected by making sure we have safeguards in place. This might mean only transferring your personal information to a country that has been deemed by the European Commission to provide an adequate level of protection, or by using specific contractual protections, or a protection such as the Privacy Shield for the US. You can contact us at dpo@octoenergy.com for details of how we protect specific transfers of your data.

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, 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 data (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 data protection laws?

You have various rights under the data protection laws, which you can exercise by contacting us. The easiest way to do this is by email to dpo@octoenergy.com.

Right to object

You have the right to object to us handling your personal information where we are handling your personal information based on our legitimate interests. If you ask us to stop handling your personal information in this way, we will stop unless we can show you that we have compelling grounds as to why we should continue to use your personal information.

You can also ask us to stop handling your personal information for marketing purposes at any time.

Right of access

You have the right to access your personal information which we are handling, and you are entitled to receive confirmation and details about whether your personal information is being processed by us.

Right to rectification

You have the right to require us to rectify any inaccurate personal information we hold about you. You also have the right to ask us to complete personal information which you think is incomplete.

Right to restriction

You can restrict our processing of your personal information where:

  • you think we hold inaccurate personal information about you;
  • our handling of your personal information breaks the law, but you do not want us to delete it;
  • we no longer need to process your personal information, but you want us to keep it for legal reasons; or
  • where we are handling your personal information because we have a legitimate interest (as described in the “How We Use Your Data” section above) and are in the process of objecting to this use of your personal information.

Where you exercise your right to restrict us from using your personal information, we will then only process your personal information when you agree, except for storage purposes and to handle any legal claims.

Right to data portability

This right only applies to your personal information we are handling because you consented to us using it or because there is a contract in place between us.

You have the right to receive your personal information in a structured, standard machine-readable format, and the right to ask us to send your information to another organisation or to give it to you.

Right to erasure

You have the right to require us to erase your personal information in the following circumstances:

  • where we no longer need to use your personal information for the reasons we told you we collected it for;
  • where we needed your consent to use your personal information, you have withdrawn your consent and there is no other lawful way we can continue to use your personal information;
  • where you object to our use of your personal information and we have no compelling reason to carry on handling it;
  • if our handling of your personal information has broken the law; and
  • where we must erase your personal information to comply with a law we are subject to.

Right to complain

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office, the supervisory authority for data protection issues in the United Kingdom.

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 data.

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

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by email or post.

Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy.

Information Commissioner

We would always rather you speak to us first if you have any questions about our handling of your personal data, so we can resolve any problems as quickly as possible. However, if you are not happy with the way we have handled your data, or would like more information about your rights, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s independent authority on data privacy at www.ico.org.uk.

Contact us

Any questions, comments or requests regarding this privacy policy are welcomed and should be addressed to our data protection officer, Lynne Higgins. The best way to reach her is on dpo@octoenergy.com, or you can use any of the ways listed on our website here www.octopus.energy/contact-us.

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