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Seattle City Light DEBRA SMITH, General Manager and CEO
PRIVACY POLICY
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Privacy Policy

Seattle City Light understands the value of personal information and will make every reasonable effort to protect the personal information we hold about you. To make sure your personal information is secure, we require all Seattle City Light employees to complete the City of Seattle’s annual privacy and security training, and strictly enforce privacy and security safeguards within our organization and demonstrate compliance through regular audits. In addition to complying with the City of Seattle privacy policy and the applicable Washington State Rules, the Seattle City Light privacy policy covers practices unique to our electric utility operations and customer interactions.

Our Privacy Policy covers the collection, usage, disclosure, sharing and retention of personal information. Please contact us if you have any questions.



Definitions


Personal Information includes a customer’s name, address or partial address, dates of service provided to a customer, phone/fax numbers, e-mail addresses, utility account numbers, device identifiers, serial numbers, and other information specific to identifying an individual’s utility service.

Required Disclosures: As a department of the City of Seattle, Seattle City Light is required to disclose certain Personal Information to the public, to law enforcement, or to other agencies under Washington State Public Disclosure Act. However, all such information is subject to confidentiality and security requirements in third-party contracts and we prohibit third-party contractors from utilizing or disclosing customer information for any purpose outside of the expressed purpose outlined in their contract with the utility.

Customer Electric Consumption Data is any electrical usage information, including raw meter data, obtained through the Seattle City Light metering infrastructure (including advanced meters, non-communicating advanced meters, and other currently installed meters).

Aggregated and Anonymized Data means a dataset combining data elements from multiple customers, such that re-identifying any individual customer or their customer electrical consumption data from that dataset is impossible by any party and by all reasonable means.

“Third-Party Contractor” means any entity engaged in a contractual relationship to provide service to or on behalf of City Light.

You means any Seattle City Light customer.



What type of information does Seattle City Light collect and how does Seattle City Light use Personal Information?


Seattle City Light collects the information necessary to provide safe and reliable services to you or to comply with the law. We receive, retain, and process Personal Information and Customer Electric Consumption Data, based on our business relationship with you and your use of our utility services. Some examples include:
  • Contact information that allows us to communicate with you, including name, address, telephone number, email address, and user names and passwords used for online account access
  • Billing and payment information used to pay your utility bill, including financial information shared by you for autopay functionality, payment history etc.
  • Electricity consumption data gathered by our metering infrastructure
  • Information gathered when you choose to participate in utility programs, surveys or services, such as Utility Discount Program, GreenUp, Solar and energy efficiency rebate programs



How does Seattle City Light collect the information?


We collect information in a variety of ways, including:
  • When you use electricity, usage data is collected by our metering infrastructure
  • When you set up your account or interact with us regarding your account, your utility service, or participation in utility programs, data may be collected by phone with a customer service representative, by mail or email, through our website at Seattle.gov/light, or through third-party contractors who provide services on our behalf.



How does Seattle City Light use Customer Electrical Consumption Data?


We use Customer Electrical Consumption Data to provide utility services to you, and to inform you about utility-related programs and services available to you. We also use it to manage and improve our services and business operations.

Some examples include:
  • To generate billing statements and track account billing and payment history
  • To communicate with you about energy saving and energy management tips tailored to your geographic area and energy usage
  • To improve our utility services to you by maintaining and improving our electrical system, managing outages and supporting energy efficiency and usage management
We may also use anonymized or aggregated data. For instance, the anonymized or aggregated data could be used to provide a summary of total energy usage for all homes and businesses in a certain geographic area. In these instances, aggregated or anonymized Customer Electric Consumption Data is used by us to manage, provide, and improve our services and business operations.

Some examples include:
  • To project usage demand patterns and electric load, plot growth, and identify load centers
  • To improve our energy supply planning and to better design and engineer our energy distribution systems



Sharing Personal Information or Customer Electrical Consumption Data with Third Parties or Third-Party Contractors


In accordance with Washington State Law, (RCW 19.29A.100), Seattle City Light does not disclose a customer’s personal information or customer electrical consumption data to any affiliates, including other city, county or state agencies, or other third-parties for the purposes of marketing affiliate services or product offerings. Seattle City Light also does not sell any customer’s Personal Information or Customer Electrical Consumption Data and contractually prohibits its third-party contractors from selling any customer’s Personal Information or Customer Electrical Consumption Data.

In accordance with applicable laws, Seattle City Light does share a customer’s Personal Information or Customer Electric Consumption Data to:
  • Comply with applicable Federal and State laws, such as the Washington State Public Records Act,
  • Comply with City of Seattle Municipal Code 21.49.095 and share with other city departments to implement energy efficiency programs,
  • Enable third-party contractors to provide utility-related services on behalf of Seattle City Light, when the sharing of data is required to render the service, such as sharing with commercial and consumer credit reporting agencies for credit-related activities (reporting bad debt), management functions, including legal, audit, and collection services and any other operational requirements. Seattle City Light contractors are subject to confidentiality and security requirements and we prohibit third-party contractors from utilizing or disclosing any customer’s Personal Information and Customer Electric Consumption Data for any purpose outside of the expressed purpose outlined in their contract with the utility.



Access, Integrity and Retention of Personal Information


To make sure your Personal Information is accurate, complete, and up to date, call us at (206) 684-3000 or update your contact information online.

Personal Information, including Customer Electric Consumption Data, is retained for as long as is reasonably necessary to provide utility services to you or as required by applicable laws, including those from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is typically six years. 18 CFR 125.3. Secure disposal methods are used when information is no longer needed.



Changes to this Policy


Changes to this policy will be made as necessary and when required by applicable laws.



Complaints


If you believe your customer information has been sold or disclosed by the utility to a third-party for the purposes of marketing services or products to the customer who does not already subscribe to that service or product, you must present a complaint by submitting a request for an investigation in writing that includes:
  • A short statement describing the circumstances and the information that the customer believes was disclosed,
  • The action requested by the customer, and
  • The appropriate customer contact information
The written request must be mailed to City Light's Customer Care Division addressed to:

Seattle City Light
Customer Privacy Complaint
PO Box 34023
Seattle, WA 98124-4023

Upon receipt of a complaint, you will be contacted within five (5) business days and an informal conference will be scheduled via phone. During the informal conference, a Seattle City Light representative will report the findings of the investigation you. An appeal of the findings must be made in writing and within seven (7) business days of the informal conference to the following address:

Seattle City Light Attn. Hearing Officer
700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200
PO Box 34023
Seattle, WA 98124-4023

The Utility Hearing Officer will conduct a review of the complaint and investigation and, absent exceptional circumstances, issue a written decision within thirty (30) days of the postmark date on the appeal.

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    700 5th Avenue
    Suite 3200
    P.O. Box 34023
    Seattle, WA 98124-4023


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