About this policy
Britishgas.co.uk is brought to you by British Gas, which is owned by Centrica plc. Centrica (and all its subsidiary companies) believe it’s important to protect your privacy. So we’re committed to giving you a personal service that meets your needs, at the same time as protecting that privacy.
This policy explains how we’ll collect information about you and then use it to give you a good service. It also goes into the security measures we take to protect your privacy, and expands on a few things that we won’t do.
How we’ll get in touch
When we first ask you for your personal information – or when you get a new service or product from us – we’ll give you the opportunity to tell us if you don’t want to receive information from us about our other products and services. It’ll normally be a box to tick on an application form or contract, and you can change your mind at any time.
1.1 We may use your information to:
1.2 We may also monitor and record any communications we have with you, like phone conversations and emails. This is just to make sure we’re providing you with a good service and meeting our regulatory and legal responsibilities.
We’ll use the contact information you’ve given us when we need to get in touch. So we might email you, give you a ring, send a text or use another form of electronic communication (like a message through your smart meters). We might even visit you in person.
If we’re getting in touch to tell you about offers, we’ll try and use your preferred contact method. We can stop sending you these offers at any time though, you just have to contact us and give us your account details.
3.1 We may allow other people and organisations to use your information (including other Centrica Group companies that use the British Gas, Scottish Gas and Dyno Group brands). Why?
3.2 Occasionally, the other people or organisations we pass your information to might be outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Because of that, we may pass your information to countries that have different standards and laws about protecting personal information.
3.3 If we suspect someone has committed fraud or stolen energy by tampering with the meter or diverting the energy supply, we’ll note it in our account records and may share the information with Ofgem, or anyone else who needs to know – like other energy suppliers, landlords and housing associations.
We may use this information to make decisions about you, your character, and how likely we think you are to pay for your energy. So we may record sensitive personal information like any criminal offences you’ve been accused of.
If the gas or electricity supply to your property has been tampered with or stolen in the past (or we suspect it has), we may take this into account when we decide what products or services we can offer you – and the terms and conditions we can give you.
3.4 We may ask your old energy supplier for the information we need to take over your supply. That includes information about meter readings, equipment and payments. We can pass on that kind of information to your new supplier when you move on, too.
3.5 If we think that you (or anyone in your household) might need extra care (because of age, health, disability or financial circumstances, for example), we may record this in our records. We’ll use this information if things go wrong in the future, and might share it with:
Like social services, charities, or healthcare organisations. We’ll pass on your information to them if we think you (or someone else in your home) needs help.
Other energy suppliers
If you’re thinking about changing suppliers, we’ll pass your information on to your new suppliers. We’ll assess which customers need extra care and record and share this information in line with the Energy Retail’s Association procedures – which means we may share it with your gas transporter, metering agent or network operator, too.
3.6 We may pass your information on to organisations that supervise the industry, like GasSafe and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA). This includes your address, postcode, and information about your gas appliances, flue, hot water cylinder, system controls, electrical installations, repair and removals.
These organisations may then pass this information on to local authorities to meet building regulations. Or they might contact you to inspect your appliances or systems, recall faulty products, carry out audits or for health and safety reasons. Wherever it’s appropriate, we’ll give you or the property owner (or both) a certificate to show that your appliances and systems meet building regulations.
3.7 We’ll check your details with credit reference and fraud prevention agencies to help us make decisions about whether or not you’re eligible to make payments on our goods and services. There’s a brief guide below on how we’ll use your information with these agencies – but you can find the full version in our terms and conditions. Or phone us on 0800 048 0202 and we’ll send you a leaflet all about it.
a. We’ll search credit reference and fraud prevention agencies for information about you or the people you’re applying for an account with. (So if you’re filling out a joint application with someone else, make sure they know and agree that we’ll use their information to do this.) If you use information that’s false or wrong, we might suspect fraud. In that case, we’ll pass your details on to credit reference and fraud prevention agencies. Law enforcement agencies (like the police and HM Revenue & Customers) can see and use this information too.
b. We (and other organisations) may also access and use information about you that credit reference and fraud prevention agencies give us to, for example:
c. When credit reference agencies receive a search from us, they’ll record this on your credit file (whether your application is successful or not).
d. We’ll send information on your account to credit reference agencies and they’ll record it. We’ll give them details of your account and how you manage it. Credit reference agencies will also make a record if you don’t repay money you owe us in full or on time. They may give this information to other organisations and fraud prevention agencies to carry out similar checks, find out where you are and deal with any money you owe. The credit reference agencies keep records for six years after your account has been closed, you have paid the final debt or action has been taken against you to recover the debt.
e. We may access and use the information fraud prevention agencies have collected on you from our overseas offices.
f. If you want to know what information credit reference and fraud prevention agencies hold about you, contact these agencies.
It’s worth contacting them all, because the information they have might not be the same. They’ll charge you a small fee.
Consumer Services Team
PO Box 491
Consumer Help Service
PO Box 8000
Credit File Advice Centre
PO Box 1140
4. If you give us information on behalf of someone else, you’re confirming that you’ve given them the information in this policy, and that they’ve agreed for us to use their information in the way we describe in clause 10. If you give us sensitive information about yourself or other people (like health details or details of any criminal convictions) you agree – and confirm the person the information is about has agreed – that we can use this information in the ways set out in this document.
5. You’re entitled to have a copy of the information we hold on you and you can have any inaccurate information corrected. We may charge a small fee for providing a copy of any information we hold about you. If you’re interested, talk to our privacy team at:
30 The Causeway
Or email us at CentricaDataProtection@Centrica.com.
We have strict security measures to protect your personal information. This includes following our security procedures (like checking your identity when you call us) and encrypting all the data on our websites.
If you talk to us over the internet, we may occasionally email you about our services and products – unless you said you’d prefer us not to when you first gave us personal information through our website. If you don’t want us to send you these emails anymore, send us an email (to the address below) to let us know.
Remember that communications over the internet like emails and webmails (messages sent through a website) aren’t secure unless you’ve encrypted them. These kinds of messages may go through a number of countries before they are delivered. That’s just the nature of the internet, so we can’t accept responsibility for any unauthorised access or loss of personal information if it’s beyond our control.
We may use ‘cookies’ to monitor how people use our site. This helps us to understand how our customers and potential customers use our website so we can improve things like layout, function and design.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a piece of information stored on your computer's hard drive that records how you’ve used a website. The next time you visit that website, it can tailor your options based on the information it has stored about your last visit.
How do I stop using cookies?
You can normally alter the settings of your browser to prevent it from accepting cookies, or to tell you when a website tries to put a cookie on your computer. (But you might not be able to use some of the products or services on our website without cookies.)
Have a look at our cookies policy to find out more about cookies and how to manage them.
This website has links to other sites and recommended suppliers. We’re not responsible for the privacy practices of those sites. This policy only applies to what’s on the British Gas website.
Data Protection Manager
Privacy Unit – Legal, Centrica plc
30 The Causeway
Or email us at CentricaDataProtection@centrica.com.
We may amend this policy from time to time. When that happens, we’ll publish the amended version on our website. But you can email or write to us to ask for a physical copy.