For energy saving advice and support
in the Bristol and Somerset area:
0800 082 2234

How we use your information

This information is for people who have contacted the Home Energy Team to receive energy advice either through the freephone advice line or in person.

The Home Energy Team at CSE collect your data so we can help you with your energy bills, keep you warm at home, deal with other problems that you might be experiencing and evaluate and improve our service.

We only ask for the information that we need to help you. We understand how important it is that your information is kept safe and we want it to be easy for you to understand how we use it. So if there’s anything here you don’t understand please contact Ian Preston, Head of Household Energy Services, on privacy@cse.org.uk.

Who are ‘we’?

‘We’ are the Home Energy Team who are all employed at the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). Our address is St James Court, St James Parade, Bristol BS1 3LH. CSE is a registered charity, number 298740.

Collecting your data

When you get advice from us we’ll need to ask for some personal details (such as contact details) in order to help you. We might collect this information:

  • Over the phone when you call the advice line
  • When we ask you to fill out a paper form
  • If you fill out a form online

Before we ask for your details we’ll explain what we’ll do with that information and why we need it. If, after you’ve received advice from us, you would rather we didn’t keep this information and would like us to delete it you can let us know by calling the Freephone advice line (0800 082 2234) or by emailing home.energy@cse.org.uk

Why do we need your data?

We give comprehensive advice on energy. Exactly what this involves depends on the problems you are experiencing and what you want us to help with. Often, it involves giving advice on your finances, and any debt you are in, particularly if you are in debt to an energy supplier. Because we know that cold homes and financial worries negatively affect your health and wellbeing we might ask you questions about your health or how you are feeling more generally. We do this so that we can try and get you relevant support. We'll always ask you if you're happy to share your information, and you're under no obligation to do so.

Data we might ask for in giving this advice

  • Your name and contact details.
  • Information about your finances such as your salary, if you are in receipt of any benefits, and if you are in debt.
  • Information about your health or mental health.
  • Information about your living situation – for example how many people you live with and if you are renting or own your own home.
  • Information about the services you use – for example your energy supplier and how you pay for your energy.
  • Information about your home such as its general condition, if its insulated or not and how it is heated.
  • Information about your nationality, ethnicity or sexual orientation. We collect this information so that we can monitor who accesses our services and ensure that they are accessible for everyone.

Why do we ask for this?

We’ll ask for your name and contact details so that we can keep in touch with you about your case.

We ask for information about your finances, living situation, health, services and home so that we can help you with the problems you’re experiencing. This might include:

  • Checking your eligibility for benefits or other financial support.
  • Checking your eligibility and arranging for you to have home improvements made.
  • Dealing with your energy supplier on your behalf to help resolve debt issues.
  • Checking if you could save money on your energy bills by finding a better deal or using less energy.
  • Referring you to other in-depth support organisations.

If we ask you about your ethnicity, nationality or sexual orientation we will do so for one of three reasons and we’ll explain which one before we ask you for this information:

  • We collect information about who is accessing our services so we can ensure that they are fair and accessible to everyone – we call this “equalities monitoring”.
  • We may be running a project to help a specific group of people and we want to know if you can get extra help through this project.
  • We may be asking so that we can organise a translator to help you or to connect you with a support organisation who help people of particular nationalities or ethnicities.

Storing your data

Whether you get advice face to face or over the phone our adviser will log all your information, correspondence and notes about your problem into our secure database.

In general, we will keep your data for up to five years from the last contact we had with you. After this it will be shredded, if it is in paper form, or deleted if it is digital.

If we need to share your data

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 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 – in some cases it might be necessary to pass on information about you to your energy supplier.

Sometimes, our funders require us to share some information with them about how the projects they fund are going. We’ll let you know if this is likely to happen.

When we share your data for the reasons described above, we will have checked that the organisation we are sharing it with are going to keep it safe, and will only use it for the reasons we have specified. We check that they are compliant with the law that describes how personal data should be protected (the General Data Protection Regulations).

There are a few situations where we might process your data outside of the time when we are giving you advice directly. If we do this we will always make sure we are doing this lawfully, fairly and securely. The situations where we are likely to do this include:

  • To invite you to participate in research we are carrying out that may be of interest to you.
  • To let you know about new funds, grants, schemes or services that may be of benefit to you.

Let us know if you don’t want us to contact you for these reasons.

In a few very unlikely situations we might process your data without your permission, for example:

  • To comply with the law or to defend our legal rights.
  • To protect someone’s life – this is called ‘vital interests’.

We’re happy to help with any questions about your data

When you contact the Home Energy Team for advice either in person at an event or through the Freephone advice line, we’re processing your data on the lawful basis of legitimate interests. That means that at any time you can ask us to:

  • Tell you what information we have about you
  • Update or correct your information
  • Delete your data
  • Stop using your data in a certain way

If you ask us to do this, we’ll respond to your request within 30 days and we won’t charge you.

If you aren’t happy with how we have used your data, you can make a complaint.

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


Project-specific data use

Ovo Customers
If you are an Ovo customer and have been directed to call the advice line by Ovo, Boost or Lumo we will share the information you provide to us with Ovo Energy. To find out how they will use this information please see their privacy policy.

Bristol City Council social housing tenants
If you are a Bristol City Council tenant and you receive support from us as part of a project called Tenant’s Energy Advice we may pass on information about your case back to Bristol City Council. We will only do this if it’s necessary to help you with the problems you are experiencing and will make you aware when we want to do so.

WHAM
WHAM is a collaborative project between CSE, Talking Money and WE Care & Repair. If you are receiving support through this project we may share your personal details with these two organisations.

Location-specific projects

We run a number of different projects which cover different geographical areas. If you have received advice through one of these projects you can find information about how they use your data on the project websites.

Need more help?

Depending on where you live and who you buy your energy from, we can help you with grants and support

Contact us

Need advice about saving energy? Want help with grants and support?

Send us a message and one of the team will get back to you as soon as we can*:

Data Protection: The information you provide on this form will be used by the Centre for Sustainable Energy to contact you in order to give you impartial energy advice. If you’d like to know more about how we use this data please see our privacy information.

* We aim to respond to your enquiry within two working days.