Privacy statement

Privacy policy statement

Ausgrid is one of Australia's largest energy services corporations. Ausgrid is committed to compliance with the privacy laws. These laws protect the privacy of personal information Ausgrid holds on customers and other individuals with whom we deal. Ausgrid respects the privacy of our customers, the privacy of our business contacts and the privacy of our employees. If you would like more information about how Ausgrid handles personal information, you can obtain a copy of Ausgrid's privacy policy (set out below) from any Ausgrid office, or speak to our Contact Centre by contacting us on 13 15 35.

Privacy Policy

Ausgrid is bound by the National Privacy Principles (NPPs). The NPPs are contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) and govern how organisations handle personal information.

Our privacy policy is divided into the following sections:

1. What personal information does Ausgrid collect?
2. How does Ausgrid collect your personal information?
3. How is personal information used?
4. Will personal information be given to anyone else?
5. Access and correction
6. Is personal information stored safely?
7. Non-customer information
8.Contacting Ausgrid
9.Changes to this privacy policy

This privacy policy has been prepared primarily for our customers, who may have questions about how we handle personal information. However, Ausgrid also may handle information about people who are not customers. Non-customer personal information is discussed in Section 6.

1. What personal Information does Ausgrid collect?
Ausgrid is one of Australia's largest energy services corporations. We operate one of the largest electricity networks in Australia – around 22,275 square kilometres – distributing electricity to residents and businesses in the Sydney, Central Coast and Hunter regions. Ausgrid has a contract with all customers connected to the Ausgrid network, under which we have guaranteed customer service standards.

We perform all functions related to electricity distribution and supply of cost-competitive energy-related services. For the purposes of our Privacy Policy, the products and services supplied by Ausgrid are collectively referred to as "our products or services".

If you ask Ausgrid to supply you with our products or services, Ausgrid will ask you to provide certain details. This may include your name, contact information (including your address and telephone numbers) and requirements in relation to our products and services. In the case of businesses acquiring our products or services, Ausgrid usually requires the name, title and contact details of a contact person in the business.

Ausgrid may also request information about you in order to help you decide which of our products or services would best suit your requirements. However, we don't collect information we don't need.

Ausgrid collects metering data about the premises connected to our electricity network. This information is handled in accordance with the National Electricity Rules and the Market Operations Rules where they apply, as well as in accordance with the Privacy Act. Metering data means electricity use data collected via the meter at your home or business premises, whether manually, electronically or by any other means. The frequency with which metering data is collected, and the level of detail of the metering data, may depend on the type of meter supplied to you.

In the course of projects conducted by Ausgrid to develop new and better products and services (including, without limitation, projects or pilot studies relating to energy efficiency, demand management and/or smart electricity grid activities), we may collect information about participants in the projects.

From time to time we may also undertake customer surveys to collect statistics about our customers for research and product development purposes. These surveys help us to develop new products and services to meet your needs. Whether or not you participate in these surveys is your choice.

Generally, Ausgrid will not collect sensitive information about you (such as details of your race, political beliefs, religion or health), although some health information may be required in certain circumstances, if you are entitled to health-related rebates in relation to particular products and services or if you use particular health-related appliances in your household.

2. How does Ausgrid collect your personal information?
We generally collect your personal information directly from you. For example, we may collect personal information about you when you deal with us over the telephone, send us correspondence (whether by letter, fax or email), when you have contact with us in person or when you complete a form on the Ausgrid Website. If you do not provide the information requested, we may not be able to provide you with products or services requested or to fulfil another applicable purpose of collection.

There may be occasions when we need to source personal information about you from a third party. For example, we may collect personal information from an energy retailer regarding your energy supply arrangement, a company for whom you work (for example, if it is a service provider or business customer of Ausgrid), other organisations with whom you have any relevant dealings, a credit reporting agency, an information service provider or from a publicly maintained record (such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics). If we collect personal information about you in this way, we will take reasonable steps to ensure you are aware of the relevant matters set out in this policy.

When you visit the Ausgrid website, we may collect additional information about your use of the Website, which may or may not identify you. We may collect information about which pages you visit on the Website to help us determine which parts of the site you value, so that we can build and develop our Website to best meet your needs. We may also collect information about your Internet browser, operating system, address of the referring site, your internet protocol address and clickstream information. This information helps us to understand how you came to find our Website.

3. How is personal information used?

The personal information relating to you collected by Ausgrid is used to:

  • Provide you with our products or services, or with other information you have requested, and for purposes related or ancillary to this. This will include use of personal information for establishing and maintaining any necessary accounts or records, credit checks, invoicing and billing systems, debt recovery, market research and to develop new and better services;
  • Supply electricity services in accordance with national electricity market settlement processes or systems operating under the National Electricity Rules (including, without limitation, registration or transfer of registration of a Registered Participant as a person who is financially responsible for any customer connection point or the settlement of transactions or payments under the National Electricity Rules), the Market Operations Rules and any other regulation or statutory instrument;
  • Conduct, participate in and evaluate the success of any project or trial of new energy technologies and infrastructure, and to make decisions as to whether the technologies and infrastructure should be adopted on a larger scale; and
  • Tell you about Ausgrid products or services or promotions from time to time.

Ausgrid may also use the personal information it collects as otherwise permitted under the Privacy Act.
If at any time you no longer wish to be told about new Ausgrid products or services or promotions, please contact us on 13 15 35 or via email enquiries@ausgrid.com.au.

4. Will personal information be given to anyone else?

In the circumstances described below, personal information may be disclosed outside Ausgrid. Additional disclosures may also take place where the individual provides informed consent or where they are otherwise permitted under the Privacy Act.

(a) Outsourcing and advice

Personal information collected by Ausgrid may be disclosed to third parties to whom Ausgrid contracts out specialised functions (including mailing houses, printing companies, data storage companies, information technology providers and legal and accounting services). If Ausgrid does disclose personal information to third party contractors or advisers under outsourcing or contracting arrangements, Ausgrid generally maintains tight control over the use of information by these third parties, and prohibits disclosure of the information by them including by taking steps to ensure that those contractors:

  • comply with the National Privacy Principles when they handle your personal information and
  • are authorised only to use personal information in order to provide the services or to perform the functions required by Ausgrid.

In these circumstances, contractor access to personal information is likely to constitute a use by Ausgrid rather than a disclosure.

(b) Market settlement
Ausgrid may disclose personal information (and in particular metering data) for the purpose of operating within the electricity market and to distribute electricity, in accordance with national electricity market settlement processes or systems operating under the National Electricity Rules (including, without limitation, registration or transfer of registration of a Registered Participant as a person who is financially responsible for any customer connection point or the settlement of transactions or payments under the National Electricity Rules), the Market Operations Rules and any other regulation or statutory instrument.

(c) Research and surveys
Personal information may be disclosed to third parties (such as government agencies and research partners) for reporting purposes in connection with the projects and trials conducted by Ausgrid from time to time. Where this occurs, Ausgrid takes reasonable steps to make individuals aware that information about them is being disclosed, and obtains their consent to do so where necessary.

(d) Disclosures required by law
For legal reasons, other disclosures may need to be made to law enforcement agencies, government agencies, courts or external advisors. For example, Ausgrid may be asked to disclose certain personal information about an individual to assist the police with an investigation into criminal activities. Ausgrid's policy is to only make such disclosures in accordance with the Privacy Act. Ausgrid may also be required to disclose certain information under the energy industry laws and rules, including the ones referred to in paragraph (b) above.

Ausgrid is also subject to the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act), which requires it to make government information publicly available in response to a request unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information. If a person makes an application for access to information that relates to you, Ausgrid will consult you and give you the opportunity to object to the release of the information. For more information on how Ausgrid's complies with the GIPA Act, please go to: http://www.ausgrid.com.au/Common/About-us/Your-Right-to-Information.aspx. Ausgrid does not sell personal information to third parties.

Personal information may be disclosed overseas where service providers or research organisations are outside Australia, or if you use a payment method (such as a credit card issued overseas which requires us to communicate information about you internationally (for example, to your bank if it is outside Australia).

5 .Access and correction

Under the Privacy Act, you have a right to seek access to information which Ausgrid holds about you (although there are some exceptions to this). You also have the right to ask us to correct information about you which is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.

If you wish to exercise your right under the Privacy Act to seek access to the personal information that Ausgrid holds about you, we ask that you contact Ausgrid's Contact Centre on 13 15 35 so we can explain how Ausgrid will handle your access request.

To summarise, in the first instance, we will generally provide you with a summary of the information we hold about you. We will assume (unless you tell us otherwise) that your request relates to our current records about you. These current records will include personal information about you which is included in our databases and in paper files, and which may be used by Ausgrid on a day to day basis.

To provide you with access to this personal information, Ausgrid would ordinarily provide you with a print-out of the relevant personal information from our databases, or with photocopies of records which are held only on paper files. Ordinarily, Ausgrid will not charge you for the cost of providing this type of access to these records.

For legal and administrative reasons, Ausgrid may also store records containing personal information in its archives. You may seek access to the records held by Ausgrid which are not current records, but if you do so, we may charge you for the cost of providing access.

If you are of the view that personal information about you is not accurate, complete or up to date, please provide Ausgrid's Privacy Officer with your request for correction (contact details are set out in Section 7). Ausgrid's policy is to consider any requests for correction in a timely way.

If we refuse to provide you with access to the information, we will provide you with reasons for the refusal and inform you of any exceptions relied upon under the Privacy Act.

6. Is personal information stored safely?

Ausgrid takes reasonable steps to ensure the security of personal information held by it from such risks as loss or unauthorised access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure. Our IT systems are password protected and we use firewalls and encryption (security measures for the Internet). We also maintain physical security over our paper files, data stores and premises, including locks and security systems. Access to personal information is restricted to authorised Ausgrid personnel, who need to access those records as part of their job.

7. Non-customer information
Sometimes, Ausgrid needs to collect personal information about individuals who are not customers. This will usually arise where we collect the name and business contact details of a person who is the contact in a government agency or company with whom we deal. We may also collect information about other members of a household in which a customer resides, such as whether they consent to the use of particular services in their home. Ausgrid's policy is to only use personal information collected from non-customers for the business purpose for which it was collected, with their consent or as otherwise permitted under the Privacy Act.

If you provide personal information to us about someone else (such as one of your employees if you are a service provider or business customer of Ausgrid, a member of your household or someone with whom you have dealings), you must ensure that you are entitled to disclose that information to us and that we are entitled to collect it. You should let the person know that they can access this Privacy Policy on our website or by calling us using the contact details set out below. If the information you provide is sensitive information, then you will need to obtain the consent of the person to whom it relates before you provide it to us.

8. Contacting Ausgrid
If you have any questions or comments about this privacy policy, or if you wish to complain about how we have handled personal information about you, please contact Ausgrid's Privacy Officer by:

  • telephone 13 15 35 or
  • email privacy@ausgrid.com.au or
  • letter to The Privacy Officer, Ausgrid, GPO Box 4009, Sydney.

9. Changes to this Privacy Policy
This privacy policy may change from time to time. This policy was last updated in November 2011.