REDWOOD COAST ENERGY AUTHORITY CUSTOMER CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY
Notice of Accessing, Collecting, Storing, Using, and Disclosing Energy Usage Information
Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), its employees, agents, contractors, and affiliates will
maintain the confidentiality of individual customers’ names, service addresses, billing addresses,
telephone numbers, account numbers, and electricity consumption data except where reasonably
necessary to conduct RCEA’s business or to provide services to customers as required by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Examples of reasonably necessary business purposes
include but are not limited to when such disclosure is necessary to: (a) comply with laws,
regulations or a court order; (b) enable RCEA to provide service to its customers; (c) collect
unpaid bills; (d) obtain and provide credit reporting information; (e) resolve customer disputes or
inquires; (f) communicate information regarding demand response, energy efficiency, energy
management, and conservation programs; or (g) in situations of imminent threat to life or
property. RCEA will not disclose customer information for purposes of telemarketing, e-mail, or
direct mail solicitations.
Aggregate data that cannot be traced to specific customers may be utilized or released at RCEA’s
discretion. RCEA will handle customer energy usage information in a manner that is fully
compliant with the California Public Utility Commission’s required privacy protections for
customers of Community Choice Aggregators defined in Decision 12-08-045.
We collect customer information, such as your electric usage, name, address, and account information, based on your use of electric services and your decision to participate in programs we offer such as those related to energy efficiency.
PG&E provides customer information to RCEA. When you use electricity service, usage data is collected via PG&E’s metering systems (including the SmartMeter system).
We use customer information to administer your account and inform you about your energy usage, as well as to manage, provide, and improve our services and business operations including data management and customer service.
We use this information to generate the RCEA charges on your customer billing statement and to communicate with you about specific programs or opportunities offered by RCEA that may help you to lower your energy usage or realize other benefits. We may also aggregate data about your electric usage with other users in various formats so that the data becomes anonymous and cannot be identified directly with you.
For instance, aggregated data could be a summary of total energy usage for all homes and businesses in a certain geographic area or climate. Aggregated data is not subject to privacy restrictions and is used by us to manage, provide, and improve our services and business operations.
We ask you to provide personal information when you access customer services offered on the website, and that information enables us to provide you with better service. We may use this information to contact you to respond to an inquiry that you send to RCEA or to keep you informed about RCEA and its services. If you choose email as an approved method for communicating with us, then we will generally use your email to communicate with you.
In order to provide you with services offered on our website, or to complete transactions requested by you on the website, we may transfer you to outside services provided by third-party operators. In certain instances, the third-party content may be shown in such a way that it appears that you are still on RCEA’s website. In such cases, we will have agreements with those third parties where they agree to maintain the confidentiality of your personal information and to use it only to help us serve you.
Other than for the exceptions noted in the above section, it is RCEA’s policy to not release personal information about you to any other person or business entity without your prior written consent. Written consent may be obtained electronically.
We collect information about our website, such as the number of visitors to the website and the number of users that click on certain links or use certain services. For some applications, such as rate analysis, we link usage information with the customer visiting the website. We use industry standard software to create summary statistics of the usage data we collect, which may then be used to highlight what our visitors find interesting, to improve the website design and usability, to identify system performance issues, or for other internal purposes.
An Internet Protocol (“IP”) address is a number automatically assigned to your computer every time you browse the Internet. When you visit the website, our servers log your current IP address. We may use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our servers and to administer the website. Your IP address is not tied to your personal information and we do not use it to identify you when logging IP address data except to provide content to you.
When you visit the website, our server may create cookies , which are small files placed on your computer, making it easier for you to use the website by verifying when you travel from page to page. The data we collect on website usage from cookies is not tied to your personal information and we only use it in a collective form. We do not sell or transfer the data we obtain from cookies for any purpose other than to evaluate website usage or provide utility services to you, or to contact you to offer programs and/or services that you may be interested in.
While browsing the website, you may encounter and choose to access other third-party operated websites or online services through hypertext links. These third-party websites may send their own cookies to you, log your IP address, and otherwise collect data or personal information about you and your online activities. RCEA does not control and is not responsible for what third parties do in connection with their websites or online services, or how they handle your personal information. Please use caution and consult the privacy policies posted on each third-party website for further information.
Once you log in to RCEA’s online services, any account information you enter (or that is displayed on our website in your browser window) is secured using an industry standard security technology known as Secure Sockets Layer (“SSL”). By using SSL, we attempt to protect the confidentiality of your personal and financial information. Your browser must be capable of supporting SSL. Please check with your browser manufacturer for details.
RCEA may share customer data with contractors and vendors for purposes of providing you services and operating our programs. In these cases, we require that the contractors or vendors agree to only use customer data for program operational purposes and to protect it under the same confidentiality and privacy standards that we apply to our own employees and operations. MCE does not release personal customer information for any other reason without your prior written consent, except as described below. RCEA does not sell or provide personal customer information to third parties for their commercial benefit. RCEA shares customer data on a continuing basis with its service providers, which currently include:
• The Energy Authority
• Calpine Energy Solutions
• Times Printing
RCEA maintains customer-specific energy usage and billing information for only as long as is reasonably necessary. As a general policy, we collect and retain personal information in minimal quantities and for limited periods of time such that are reasonably necessary to provide electric services to you. State law requires all public records to be retained for a minimum of two years with retention time periods of variable lengths thereafter, depending on the record. RCEA has chosen to follow the schedule of typical retention periods for administrative records as detailed in Attachment A of the California Secretary of State’s Local Government Records Management Guidelines.
If you have questions, concerns, or would like to view your disclosed information, please contact:
Richard Engel, Director of Power Resources
Redwood Coast Energy Authority
633 Third Street
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 269-1700 ext. 354
We share our customers’ concern that children’s privacy is important. We do not monitor the age of users of the website. However, if you are under the age of 18, you should not submit personal information on the website or any websites without the consent of your parent or guardian.
This policy is effective November 21, 2016.