Customer Privacy Statement
Commitment to Privacy
At ERTH Power, we are committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals, including our customers. This Privacy Statement provides you with details regarding why we collect personal information, what we do with that information, the steps we take to ensure that access to that information is secure, how you can access personal information pertaining to you and who you should contact if you have any questions or concerns about our policies or practices.
By accepting service from us, using our website, or otherwise providing us with your personal information, you are accepting the policies and practices described in this Privacy Statement. The terms of this Privacy Statement may change from time to time, so you should review it for changes periodically on our website.
Since we regularly review our policies and practices, we may revise our Privacy Statement at any time. We will inform you that changes have been made by indicating at the top of the Privacy Statement, the date that it was last updated. Copies of our Privacy Statement can be obtained from our office and will be posted on our website at www.erthpower.com. We encourage you to review our Privacy Statement to be sure that you understand how information that you provide will be used.
What is Personal Information?
In the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, personal information is defined as information that would allow a specific individual to be identified or information that can be directly associated with an individual. For example, this includes your name, postal or e-mail address, telephone number, driver’s license number, demographic information and purchasing history.
Personal information does not include an individual’s business contact information nor information that has been aggregated or de-personalized, such that an individual’s information cannot be identified.
“you” and “your” means the individual who is a customer or potential customer or another individual whose personal information is in our possession.
Who is Accountable?
We are accountable for all personal information in our possession or control including any personal information that has been transferred to a third party. The President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ERTH Corporation has ultimate responsibility for the protection of your personal information. All directors, employees, contractors, and agents share responsibility for adhering to privacy policies and procedures.
When we collect Personal Information
ERTH will identify the purposes for which we will collect personal information at or before the time the information is collected, such as when you apply for service from us. ERTH collects, uses and discloses personal information as authorized or required by applicable law (including PIPEDA, MFIPPA and our OEB issued distribution licenses) and for purposes such as:
- To establish or confirm your identity, respond to your inquiries and maintain business relations with you (eg. Name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, etc);
- To establish and maintain responsible commercial relations and operations which includes authenticating customer identity, billing and payments and maintaining records of same;
- To assess credit history to determine security deposit requirements;
- To register you for pre-authorized payment;
- To help verify creditworthiness, collect a debt or enforce an obligation owed by an individual and/or manage and assess ERTH’s financial risks;
- To collect and process past due accounts which includes disclosing Personal Information to a debt collection agency and/or a credit reporting agency;
- To contact you and respond to your enquiries and requests and/or to monitor and assess quality of service (eg, ERTH may monitor and/or record telephone communications for quality assurance and training purposes);
- To address and respond to issues related to the usage of critical power dependent medical equipment during an outage;
- To help prevent or investigate fraud, theft of power or other breaches of the law;
- To provide you with information about our services, the electricity industry, energy conservation and rates;
- To comply with legal, regulatory and market operations requirements;
- To request your participation in surveys or contests; or
- To notify you about events or causes sponsored by ERTH
The above purposes for which we may collect, use and disclose your personal information, which are not exhaustive, are a necessary part of your relationship with ERTH.
How we collect Personal Information
We primarily collect personal information directly from individuals when signing up to receive our products and services. In some cases, we may collect personal information from other sources including credit bureaus or personal references. For example, when you purchase a home, a lawyer may contact us to inform us about the sale and provide information about you for us to open an account.
Consent may be express (provided in writing, verbally, or electronically or through an authorized representative) or implied, depending on the circumstances. By accepting services from us, your consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes of providing you with such distribution and related services and all other purposes described above and in our Conditions of Service is implied. In determining the form of consent to use, we take into account the sensitivity of the information and your reasonable expectations.
Personal information may also be obtained from a third party that has obtained your consent for them to disclose your personal information to ERTH and for ERTH to collect your personal information from them directly. We may also collect your personal information from an authorized representative.
You can refuse or withdraw your consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information at any time. However, refusal to provide such consent may prevent us from providing you with some services.
How we limit the Personal Information we collect
ERTH will not collect personal information indiscriminately and will limit collection of personal information to that which is reasonable and necessary for the purposes outlined in this Privacy Statement or as otherwise consented to by you, and as authorized or required by applicable law.
How we use Personal Information
ERTH uses your personal information internally among staff members (for example, our customer care staff and our internal auditors) who need this information in order to perform their duties in fulfilling the purposes outlined in this Privacy Statement, as authorized or required by applicable law, and where the use is necessary and proper in the discharge of ERTH’s business. Either before or when we collect personal information about you, we explain to you how we intend to use it and will use it only for those intended purposes.
If you are an electricity distribution customer, we explain how we use your personal information in this Privacy Statement.
We will obtain your consent if we wish to use your information for any other purpose than originally intended and before collecting information about you from third parties. If we wish to use your information for new purposes, we will notify you and obtain the appropriate consent before doing so.
When we share Personal Information
In limited circumstances, we share personal information with other parties, for one principal reason: To administer the delivery of products and services to you. We may share personal information with the following entities: the Electrical Safety Authority, credit bureaus; data storage and exchange providers; software providers; data and payment processors; cheque printers; claims processors; professional firms or consultants (ie: legal firms, engineers); other utilities (ie: for load transfers); collection agencies; statement producers; mailing houses (ie: to mail your statement, to provide any necessary communications); third party suppliers (ie. meter reading contractors, electricians for service layouts or other services, forestry contractors, contractors for producing or delivering notices or your bill, banks and payment agents to accept bill payments); third party Retailers of Commodity for which we have a “shared customer” (ie: we deliver the commodity and the Retailer supplies the commodity); local municipalities, County or the Region. In these circumstances the personal information that the non-related organization receives is limited to only the personal information held by us that they need in order to render their service to us. The companies that are provided with the personal information are first required to sign an agreement that obligates them to keep the information confidential and secure and prohibits them from using it for unauthorized purposes.
We will disclose personal information if a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena or court order legally authorizes or requires us to do so. Except as set out, we do not share or disclose the personal information we hold to others.
In some cases, our service providers are located outside of Canada. While we make sure our contracts provide appropriate protection and obligate the service providers to comply with Canadian Privacy laws, when our service provider is located outside of Canada, the foreign laws of the jurisdiction in which the service provider is located will apply to your personal information.
In order to measure performance and develop service improvements for our customers, ERTH may disclose personal information to third parties who conduct surveys on behalf of ERTH. The service providers are bound by contracts that contain strict confidentiality obligations to protect the information and use it for the sole purpose of conducting the survey. ERTH does not trade or sell personal information.
How long do we hold Personal Information?
Personal information is retained only for so long as is necessary for the purposes set out above, to meet our legal and contractual obligations and/or as otherwise permitted or required by law. When no longer required, we will destroy, erase, or de-personalize the personal information safely and securely. We require that third parties who provide services on our behalf follow our retention and disposal practices and are prohibited from storing, analyzing or using personal information for purposes other than to perform the services they have been contracted to perform.
How do we keep information Accurate?
ERTH maintains every effort to keep information accurate and up-to-date, based on the information provided by you and to the extent updated information is relevant for the purpose for which it was originally collected.
To ensure that the personal information you provided is accurate, complete and up to date, we urge you to provide us with updates regarding such Information and to inform us of any errors affecting the personal information we hold.
How do we keep Personal Information Safe?
ERTH protects your personal information by using a number of safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information, including:
ERTH uses organizational security measures such as the use of security clearances for purposes of granting access and user rights to your personal information, training staff on the appropriate handling and security of personal information, and implementing and monitoring security practices to ensure your personal information is safe from loss, misuse, unauthorized access or disclosure.
ERTH uses technological security measures such as passwords and encryption to protect your personal information. For example, we require you to create your own password for you to be able to use our myAccount portal. We encourage you to keep your information safe by maintaining the confidentiality of your password and account on our myAccount service and notifying ERTH immediately of any unauthorized use of your account, your password, or any other breach of security that you may discover.
ERTH uses physical measures to physically secure your personal information.
These measures may include keeping cabinets and offices that store personal information secure by using locked filing cabinets.
ERTH uses contractual clauses that require our service providers to protect personal information from loss, theft and unauthorized access, use, disclosure and otherwise use personal information in a manner that is consistent with our obligations under PIPEDA. For example, contracts with third parties include provisions that prohibit our service providers from storing, analyzing or using your information for purposes other than to perform the services they have been contracted to provide.
In some cases, our service providers may be located outside of Canada. While we make sure our contracts provide appropriate protection and obligate the service providers to comply with Canadian privacy laws, when our service provider is located outside of Canada, the foreign law of the jurisdiction in which the service provider is located will apply to your information.
Accessing Personal Information
ERTH respects your right to request access to your personal information that we may have and to challenge accuracy and completeness and request that it be amended as appropriate. If you believe our information needs corrected, please let us know and we will try to amend our files as quickly as possible. In response to a formal request, our goal is to respond to your concerns within thirty (30) days of receipt of your written request. If we cannot meet that timeline we will contact you and explain the reason for the delay. We may charge a nominal fee for responding to any request and if so, we will give you notice in advance of costs for processing your request.
If you are not satisfied or wish to submit comments concerning our Privacy Statement or its application by us, we invite you to convey your concerns or suggestions to:
143 Bell Street, PO Box 157
Ingersoll ON N5C 3K5
Attention: Privacy Officer
We will reply as quickly as possible and inform you of the steps, if any, that have been or will be taken in order to address the concern or implement the suggestion.