Effective Date: September 15, 2016
Welcome Vectren customers. Click here to go to Vectren.com Private Policy.
The Information We Collect and Why
Information you provide to us
We collect information you provide directly to us via the Service. For example, we collect information through routine business with you. Typically this information includes:
- Your name, postal address, email address and telephone number
- User name or ID and password for access to your CenterPointEnergy.com account or an affiliated online account
- Financial information, including electronic billing information
- Data about your transactions with us
- Your CenterPoint Energy account number, meter number and house number
- Your ESI ID (this is your Electric Service Identifier, your electric service account identification number), and your electricity usage information (in markets where electric distribution services are offered)
- Friends’ or family members’ names and email addresses
- Information about your participation in our renewable energy, energy efficiency or energy conservation programs
We also collect information when you participate in energy conservation programs designed to make your home’s energy use more efficient. These are the types of information we may collect if you participate:
- Energy equipment sales invoice information and details about your equipment like brand name, model number, equipment dealer’s contact details, etc.
- Household information like the square footage, the number of occupants, types of household appliances, etc.
- Household income
- Your date of birth, gender and other demographic information
- Other details about you and your family that you may submit to us
The information we collect may include Personal Information. “Personal Information” is information such as your first and last name, phone number, mailing address, email address, and other information that can be used to identify you individually (whether alone or in combination). You may choose to voluntarily submit certain other information to us through the Service, including Personal Information, but you are solely responsible for your own Personal Information in instances where we have not collected such information or requested that you submit such information to us.
Information we collect automatically
The methods that we and our Service Providers may use to collect
Automatically Collected Information include:
- Log Information: We collect information about your use of our Service, such as IP address, browser type, Internet service provider, referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamps, and related data, and store it in log files.
A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user’s device. We use both session ID cookies and tracking cookies. Session cookies make it easier for you to navigate our Service and expire when you close your browser. Tracking cookies help us understand how you use the Service and enhance your user experience. Cookies remain on your hard drive for an extended period of time. If you use your browser’s method of blocking or removing cookies, some features and functionalities of our Service may not work.
- Web Beacons (“Tracking Pixels”)
Web beacons are small graphic images, also known as “Internet tags” or “clear gifs,” embedded in web pages and email messages. Web beacons may be used to count the number of visitors to our Service, to monitor how users navigate the Service, and to count how many particular articles or links were actually viewed.
- Embedded Scripts
An embedded script is programming code designed to collect information about your interactions with the Service. It is temporarily downloaded onto your computer from our web server or a third party with whom we work, is active only while you are connected to the Service, and deleted or deactivated thereafter.
- Location-identifying Technologies
GPS (global positioning systems) software and other location-based technologies locate you for purposes such as verifying your location and delivering relevant content based on your location.
We are giving you notice of the Tracking Technologies and your choices regarding them, as explained below in “Unsubscribe to email messages,” so that your consent to encountering them is meaningfully informed.
Information from other sources
How we use the Personal Information we collect
- Facilitating, managing, personalizing and improving your online experience
- Responding to your questions and comments
- Verifying documents
- Enrolling you in services and programs
- Creating and managing online accounts and profiles
- Sending news and updates about CenterPoint Energy and our products and services that we believe may interest you (for information about how to manage these communications, see “Unsubscribe to email messages” below)
- Telling you about special events, programs, offers and promotions
- Inviting you to participate in surveys and performing market and consumer research
- Using information about you in statistical analysis to help us analyze trends
- Evaluating, operating and improving business functions
- Sharing with third parties so they can send you information about products and services that may be of interest
How we share your Personal Information
We use third-party service providers, affiliates and independent marketing partners to help us provide you with a variety of quality products, services and programs. In the course of business, we may need to share your Personal Information.
We may use your Personal Information to respond to subpoenas, government or law enforcement requests, court orders or otherwise as required by law. We may disclose information when appropriate and necessary in order to prevent physical harm or financial loss or in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual fraudulent or illegal activity.
We may also share information about you with our third parties as follows:
- To protect the rights, property, life, health, security and safety of us, the Service or any third party;
- With our affiliates for internal business purposes;
- With our subsidiaries, affiliates, business partners, and other third parties for their own business purposes; and
- In connection with, or during negotiations of, any proposed or actual merger, purchase, sale or any other type of acquisition or business combination of all or any portion of our assets, or transfer of all or a portion of our business to another company.
Without limiting the foregoing, in our sole discretion, we may share aggregated information which does not identify you or de-identified information about you with third parties or affiliates for any purpose.
Information you disclose publicly or to others
The Service may permit you to submit ideas, photographs, user profiles, writings, music, video, audio recordings, computer graphics, pictures, data, questions, comments, suggestions or other content, including Personal Information (collectively, “User Content”), on platforms such as blogs and forums, and in association with your account and user profile. We or others may store, display, reproduce, publish, distribute or otherwise use User Content online or offline in any media or format (currently existing or hereafter developed) and may or may not attribute it to you. Others may have access to this User Content and may have the ability to share it with third parties. Please think carefully before deciding what information you share, including Personal Information, in connection with your User Content. Please note that CenterPoint Energy does not control who will have access to the information that you choose to make public and cannot ensure that parties who have access to such publicly available information will respect your privacy or keep it secure. We are not responsible for the privacy or security of any information that you make publicly available on the Service or what others do with information you share with them on the Service. We are not responsible for the accuracy, use or misuse of any User Content that you disclose or receive from third parties through the Service. We are not responsible for User Content you submit to third party services via our Service.
We have put administrative, technical and physical safeguards in place to help protect against accidental, unlawful or unauthorized destruction, loss, alteration, access, disclosure or use. Access to your information is limited to employees who need it for a business purpose. Or, during the course of business, if your Personal Information is shared with outside contractors, there are provisions in our contracts with them to safeguard your information, as appropriate. We can’t promise that our security measures will never be defeated or fail, and unfortunately no electronic transmission of information is entirely secure.
Where we operate our Service
Links to other websites
Our Service may provide links to independent, third-party websites, locations, platforms or services. Even though we provide links to other websites, we are not responsible for the content found on those websites, and they may have their own privacy policies regarding collecting and sharing Personal Information.
Social Media Features
Our Service provides social media features that let you share our information and interact with us through social networks. Using these features may result in us collecting or sharing information about you.
Social media networks operate independently from CenterPoint Energy. We are not responsible for their interfaces, privacy or security practices. We encourage you to review the privacy policies and settings on the social media sites you use so you can understand how they operate.
Advertising, Analytics Services, and Online Tracking
Some information about your browsing of the Service and certain third-party services may be collected across time and services and shared with third parties to deliver ads and/or other content to you on the Service and certain third-party services. CenterPoint Energy may receive information about Third-Party Services that you have visited and use it for marketing purposes—a practice sometimes termed “(re)-targeting,” “interest-based advertising,” and “online behavioral advertising.” Data collected from a particular browser or device may be used with another computer or device that is linked to the browser or device on which such data was collected or transferred to a non-affiliate for such purposes.
We are not responsible for third parties or third-party services associated with advertising and analytics services and related tracking activities. Consult their privacy policies and notices for information on their practices and see “Unsubscribe to email messages” below regarding certain choices some of them may offer you.
“Do not track” signals
While your browser settings may allow you to automatically transmit a “do not track” signal to websites and online services you visit, like many companies, we do not alter our practices when we receive these signals. To learn more, visit http://www.allaboutdnt.com.
While our Service is not intended for children younger than age 13, on occasion we may provide features for children such as educational videos or online games that teach about science and energy. Those pages do not ask for personal information, and we do not knowingly collect it from children younger than age 13. If you know that a child has submitted personal information to us, please send an email or letter regarding the situation, and we will delete it from our records.
Our online tools make it easy to manage your contacts and Personal Information. Log in or sign up for My Account to review, update or add contact details and bill reminders and alert preferences. You may also email us at Centerpointenergy.com/en-us/corporate/contact-us/.
Unsubscribe to email messages
You can tell us not to send you promotional emails by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the emails you receive from us. Doing so will not prevent us from sending you transactional emails such as billing, account-related, regulatory or safety emails, but it does mean that you will not learn about CenterPoint Energy products or services as soon as they are announced.
You may re-subscribe for emails at any time by contacting Customer Service. It typically takes ten business days to process subscription requests.
Opt out of receiving targeted advertising
Certain companies may participate in the Digital Advertising Alliance (“DAA”) AdChoices Program and may display an Advertising Option Icon for interest-based ads that links to an opt-out tool which allows you to exercise certain choices regarding targeting. You can learn more about the DAA AdChoices Program at ouradchoices.com and its opt-out program for mobile applications at aboutads.info/appchoices. In addition, certain advertising networks and exchanges may participate in the Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”). NAI has developed a tool that allows consumers to opt out of certain targeted advertising delivered by NAI members’ ad networks. To learn more about opting out of targeted advertising or to use the NAI tool, visit networkadvertising.org/choices/. Please be aware that, even if you are able to opt out of certain kinds of targeted advertising, you will continue to receive non-targeted ads. We are not responsible for the effectiveness of, or compliance with, any third parties’ opt-out options or programs or the accuracy of their statements regarding their programs.
In addition, we may serve ads on third-party services that are targeted to reach people on those services that are also identified on one of more of our databases (“Matched List Ads”). This is done by matching common factors between our databases and the databases of third-party operators. For instance, we may use such ad services offered by Google, Facebook, or Twitter. If we use Google to serve Matched List Ads, you can opt out by emailing us at Centerpointenergy.com/en-us/corporate/contact-us/. If we use Facebook to serve Matched List Ads, you should be able to hover over the box in the right corner of such a Facebook ad and find out how to opt out with us from such list. If we use Twitter Matched List Ads, you should be able to opt out through your account settings on Twitter. If you opt out from our Google Matched List Ads, Facebook Matched List Ads, or Twitter Matched List Ads, you will be removed from that respective list; however, this will not take effect immediately. and if you have multiple emails or other accounts, you may have to opt out separately for each one. We are not responsible for such third-party services’ failure to comply with your or our opt-out instructions or to provide us notice of your opt-out elections, and they may change their options without notice to us or you.
Or write to us at:
CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
P.O. Box 1700
Houston, Texas 77251-1700 – See more at: https://www.centerpointenergy.com/en-us/corporate/legal/privacy-policy#sthash.4otSaNbO.dpuf