As a regulated, statewide Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU), Efficiency Vermont is responsible for providing efficiency services for Vermonters. In order to provide these services, Efficiency Vermont collects and manages customer information. Efficiency Vermont takes its responsibility to protect this information very seriously.
Efficiency Vermont will never sell or rent your personally identifiable information to anyone and considers it confidential.
- What information does Efficiency Vermont collect?
- How does Efficiency Vermont use your information?
- When does Efficiency Vermont share your information with others?
- How does Efficiency Vermont protect your information?
- Can you limit how your smart-meter information is used?
- How can you correct information or report a privacy violation?
- Additional information about the Efficiency Vermont website
- How can you stay informed?
What information does Efficiency Vermont collect?
Information We Collect About You and How We Collect It
We collect several types of information from and about users of our Website, including information:
- by which you may be personally identified, such as name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number, or any other identifier by which you may be contacted online or offline (”personal information”);
- that is about you but individually does not identify you, such as any preferences or demographic information you complete as part of an event registration or mailing list sign up form; and/or
- about your internet connection, the equipment you use to access our Website and usage details.
We collect this information:
- Directly from you when you provide it to us.
- Automatically as you navigate through the site. Information collected automatically may include usage details, IP addresses, and information collected through cookies, web beacons, and other tracking technologies.
- From third parties, for example, our business partners who handle events, surveys, or other registrations.
The information we collect on or through our Website may include:
Information We Collect Through Automatic Data Collection Technologies
- Information that you provide by filling in forms on our Website. This includes information provided at the time of registration or sign up for an event, mailing list, or survey. We may also ask you for information when you enter a contest or promotion sponsored by us, and when you report a problem with our Website.
- Records and copies of your correspondence (including email addresses), if you contact us.
- Your responses to surveys that we might ask you to complete for research purposes.
- Your search queries on the Website.
As you navigate through and interact with our Website, we may use automatic data collection technologies to collect certain information about your equipment, browsing actions, and patterns, including:
- Details of your visits to our Website, including traffic data, location data, logs, and other communication data and the resources that you access and use on the Website.
- Information about your computer and internet connection, including your IP address, operating system, and browser type.
We also may use these technologies to collect information about your online activities over time and across third-party websites or other online services (behavioral tracking).
The information we collect automatically is statistical data and may include personal information, or we may maintain it or associate it with personal information we collect in other ways or receive from third parties. It helps us to improve our Website and to deliver a better and more personalized service, including by enabling us to:
- Estimate our audience size and usage patterns.
- Store information about your preferences, allowing us to customize our Website according to your individual interests.
- Speed up your searches.
- Recognize you when you return to our Website.
The technologies we use for this automatic data collection may include:
- Flash Cookies. Certain features of our Website may use local stored objects (or Flash cookies) to collect and store information about your preferences and navigation to, from, and on our Website. Flash cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as are used for browser cookies.
- Web Beacons. Pages of our the Website and our e-mails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags, and single-pixel gifs) that permit the Company, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an email and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of certain website content and verifying system and server integrity).
We do not collect personal information automatically, but we may tie this information to personal information about you that we collect from other sources or you provide to us. For more details on visits to the Efficiency Vermont site, see “Additional information on the Efficiency Vermont website”.
How does Efficiency Vermont use your information?
To personalize energy savings estimates - Based on the information you provide and/or electricity use data from your utility meter, Efficiency Vermont may customize savings recommendations for you by phone, mail, or on our website. These savings estimates may also be customized based on daily, hourly, or 15-minute interval electricity use data from “smart meters” if that is available for your account. See the section Can you limit how your information is used? for information about how you can opt out of receiving smart-meter-enabled personalized energy savings estimates.
To conduct aggregated energy use analysis - Efficiency Vermont combines data from multiple customers in order to report on state-wide trends and improve the services offered to Vermonters. Your data will only be used in aggregate and only if the group is large enough that individual customers cannot be identified.
To improve the Efficiency Vermont website and outreach - Efficiency Vermont collects information about usage of the Efficiency Vermont website for system administration, to filter traffic, to look up user domains, to report on statistics, to present our Website and its contents to you, to allow you to participate in interactive features on our Website, and to improve the services that Efficiency Vermont offers. You can limit the data that is collected by using your browser’s cookie settings. See “Additional information on the Efficiency Vermont website” to learn more.
When does Efficiency Vermont share your information with others?
To aid Efficiency Vermont in providing services - Efficiency Vermont employees will have access to your information in order to fulfill Efficiency Vermont’s obligations as an Energy Efficiency Utility. When Efficiency Vermont engages with a contractor, vendor or partner to provide Efficiency Vermont services, only the necessary information is shared in order to facilitate the service. Before sharing this information, Efficiency Vermont also requires the contractors, vendors and partners to sign a protective agreement to ensure there are appropriate protections in the collection, processing, storage and retrieval of your information.
To promote energy efficiency - Efficiency Vermont may share anonymized or aggregated (i.e., not personally identifiable) information with government agencies, researchers, or other entities who request access to such information. This information may be used to leverage regional, national, and international efficiency efforts for the advancement of energy efficiency through research, advocacy, and policy efforts.
To aid Efficiency Vermont’s regulators in evaluating our programs - Efficiency Vermont may share your information with the Vermont Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) or Vermont Department of Public Service (Efficiency Vermont’s regulators) in order to meet VEIC’s ongoing reporting requirements under its Order of Appointment or to assist its regulators in evaluating the success of Efficiency Vermont’s programs. Efficiency Vermont will only share the information that is required and will aggregate or anonymize your information when possible.
To coordinate with and assist other Vermont Energy Efficiency Utilities in the delivery of energy efficiency services or the Vermont Electric Utility that provides you with electric service – Efficiency Vermont may share your information with other Vermont Energy Efficiency Utilities (e.g. Burlington Electric Department or Vermont Gas Systems) to coordinate the provision of efficiency services, to coordinate the payment of incentives and rebates to customers, or – to the extent specifically authorized by the PUC – to aid other Vermont EEUs in the delivery of their energy efficiency services. If requested, Efficiency Vermont may share your information with the Vermont Electric Utility that provides you with electric service for purposes that have been authorized by the PUC.
To respond to an emergency or as may be required by law - Efficiency Vermont may be required to provide personal information, such as address and telephone number, to emergency responders in situations involving an imminent threat to life or property. Efficiency Vermont may disclose your information when required by law or demanded through valid legal process, such as through a warrant or subpoena.
Customer Consent - When you provide your express consent to share your information with third parties, Efficiency Vermont may share your information with those parties.
How does Efficiency Vermont protect your information?
With secure systems and policies - Efficiency Vermont maintains a Confidential Information Management System (CIMS) to protect customer-specific information as well as to meet existing regulatory requirements. The CIMS includes criteria to identify confidential information and to provide specific procedures to safeguard this information against inappropriate use or disclosure.
With procedures, verifications, and training - Efficiency Vermont protects your information by ensuring that employees and contractors whose jobs require access to confidential information have signed a protective agreements before gaining access to such information. Efficiency Vermont provides training to employees in data collection, storage, use, retention, and disposal of information.
Can you limit how your smart-meter information is used?
At any time, you may choose to opt-out of energy efficiency services that are personalized using smart-meter interval data. This specifically relates to daily, hourly, or 15-minute interval energy use data from “smart” utility meters. If you decline these personalized smart-meter-enabled services, your smart-meter interval energy use data will not be used to customize savings estimates or recommendations. This means that your smart-meter interval data would not be included in energy savings recommendations or other services Efficiency Vermont might provide to you, would not be made available to Efficiency Vermont’s customer-support representatives, and would not be used for directing specific Efficiency Vermont promotions to you.
If you do opt-out of personalized smart-meter-enabled services, you may still receive services from Efficiency Vermont, but those services will not be customized based on your smart-meter interval data. Some energy savings recommendations or incentives might be entirely dependent on smart-meter interval data, and therefore may not be available to you if you choose to opt out.
Data from all customers, including those who have opted out of personalized smart-meter-enabled services, may be used in anonymized form – such as calculating town-wide or state-wide trends – which cannot be personally linked to any one customer. This may be required to support state-wide planning and research tasks, and all such uses will be reviewed to ensure that the privacy of all customers is protected.
You can opt-out of personalized smart-meter-enabled electric energy efficiency services by contacting Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 921-5990. If you have opted out of these personalized smart-meter-enabled services, you can choose to opt in again at any time. Note that you can only opt-out for specific utility accounts, so if you move or otherwise switch electric utility accounts, you must notify us in order to opt-out with the new account.
How can you correct information or report a privacy violation?
If you find incorrect or incomplete information (such as personal information or energy usage data) you have the opportunity to contact Efficiency Vermont and request that the information be updated or revised by contacting Customer Support at email@example.com or (888) 921-5990. Some information is provided by energy utilities and other external data sources. In the event the error originated with them, Efficiency Vermont will refer you to the original source of the data.
If you feel that your privacy has been violated in any way, please contact Customer Support immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 921-5990. In the event that a situation cannot be resolved to a customer’s satisfaction, customers may wish to file a privacy violation complaint. Customers have the right to file a complaint with the Vermont Department of Public Service Consumer Advocacy Division for a resolution.
Additional information about the Efficiency Vermont website
Browser information - Your browser communicates standard information when you use the EfficiencyVermont.com website, including your internet (IP) address and the files you request.
Cookies - Cookies are text files that contain small amounts of information and are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a site. Cookies are useful because they allow a site to recognize a user’s device, let you navigate between pages efficiently, remember your preferences, and more. You can find additional information about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org.
Deleting cookies - Most cookies are “session cookies,” which are automatically deleted from your hard drive at the end of a session. You are always free to decline Efficiency Vermont cookies if your browser permits, although this may interfere with your use of EfficiencyVermont.com.
Email Lists - You may unsubscribe from Efficiency Vermont marketing communications by clicking on the "unsubscribe" link located on the bottom our emails.
Links to third-party websites - EfficiencyVermont.com contains links to various other websites that are not owned or operated by Efficiency Vermont. These other sites may have privacy policies that differ from Efficiency Vermont’s privacy policies. Efficiency Vermont is not responsible for their content.
Links from EfficiencyVermont.com do not constitute an endorsement by Efficiency Vermont. Efficiency Vermont is not responsible for and does not control or monitor the content of these sites or the accuracy of information found therein. Efficiency Vermont does not accept any responsibility for enabling the reader to link to another site in the World Wide Web or for any other site.
How can you stay informed?
By contacting Customer Support - For more information, contact Customer Support at email@example.com or (888) 921-5990.
Your California Privacy Rights - California Civil Code Section § 1798.83 permits users of our Website that are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at128 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 401, Burlington, VT 05401.
If you have a complaint regarding Efficiency Vermont you may contact the Department of Public Service, Consumer Affairs and Public Information (CAPI) Division::
- CAPI hotline: (800) 622-4496
- TTY: (800) 734-8390