Dear Valued Customers:
Thank you for your business and the confidence you place in us to provide safe, reliable natural gas service and Home Service Plus® products and services.
As our customer, you share personal information during the regular course of doing business - things like requesting new services or paying your bill. We take the handling of your personal information very seriously and are committed to maintaining strong and meaningful privacy protections. This annual privacy notice explains:
- How we collect, maintain, protect and share your personal information.
- The steps we take that are designed to protect your information.
- Your privacy choices and how you can manage them.
We appreciate your taking the time to review this important information.
Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
The information we collect and why
In order for us to provide natural gas service or Home Service Plus® products and services, we need to know who you are and some basic information about you. This typically includes your:
- Service address and mailing address
- Social Security number (SSN) - May be requested but is not required for natural gas service
- Phone number
- Email address
- Financial information including bank account numbers, routing numbers, transaction numbers
- User name and password for access to your CenterPointEnergy.com online account
We collect and use personal information only in ways that meet state and federal laws.
Updating your personal information
You can update your personal information yourself at any time by logging in to your My Account page (CenterPointEnergy.com/MyAccount). You can request to remove your SSN at CenterPointEnergy.com/Remove. If you don’t have a My Account page, please call
800-245-2377 (toll free) with your request.
If your request to update your personal information, including Social Security number, is not resolved within 45 days of CenterPoint receiving your request, CenterPoint or you may refer it to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by calling 651-296-0406 or 800-657-3782.
How we may use your personal information
Your personal information enables us to provide you with products and services and learn ways to improve them. For example, it lets us tell you about programs that may be of interest to you, including:
- Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP)
- Gas affordability
- Energy management
- Home Service Plus
How we may share your personal information
We do not sell your personal information.
We will only use your information to provide you with natural gas service or Home Service Plus products and services. We may, however, use your information for other purposes only if we first get your written permission (which may be obtained electronically) and include clear details about what and with whom the information is shared. We will honor your request asking us to stop sharing your information for other purposes. Please call
800-245-2377 (toll free) with your request.
We may use your personal information to respond to subpoenas, government or law enforcement requests, court orders or otherwise as required by law. In addition, we will 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 your information if there is a sale or transfer of all or a portion of our business assets, including customer information. In such a situation, we will request that the transferee use your personal information in ways consistent with this Notice. You may contact the company receiving the information with any questions about your personal information.
How we collect and use information online
In addition to the data collection, use and sharing practices described above, our websites may collect information by tracking what pages you visit on our site. This data shows us ways we can improve our website experience and develop products and services to better meet your needs.
- We may use IP addresses to help diagnose problems with our server and administer our websites. IP addresses and cookies may also tell us regional geographic information, demographic data and the pages that are visited.
- We may also track how much time you spend on our pages and how you navigate through our sites in order to provide you with more relevant content.
Our websites may also provide links to third-party sites containing CenterPoint Energy content – like social media sites or mobile applications. We may also link our site to other companies’ websites as part of a promotion, rebate offer, program, etc. Outside sites, including social media, operate independently and may have their own privacy notices and policies.
We are not responsible for other websites’ content or the privacy practices of websites that are linked to ours, including social media. Outside websites and social media applications may also collect personal information and tracking data about your online activities when you link to or from them.
Where we operate our websites
Our websites are U.S. websites governed by applicable U.S. laws. As a result, if you are accessing our websites from a country other than the U.S., please be aware that any personal information you provide will be processed in accordance with U.S. laws.
Our websites are 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.
PROTECTING YOUR DATA
We have put administrative, technical and physical safeguards in place to help protect your personal information against accidental, unlawful or unauthorized destruction, loss, alteration, access, disclosure or use. Access to your information is limited to employees and contractors who need it for a business purpose. If your personal information is shared with outside contractors, there are provisions in our contracts with them that require 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. Should a security breach ever occur, we will notify you and our government regulators.
MY ACCOUNT: YOUR SECURE TOOL FOR MANAGING PERSONAL INFORMATION
Our online tools make it easy to manage your contacts and personal information. Log in or sign up for My Account (CenterPointEnergy.com/MyAccount) to review, update or add contact details and bill reminder and alert preferences. This way, our communications will reach you in the ways you prefer. Remember, out-of-date information may mean critical alerts won’t reach you.
CALL US IMMEDIATELY IF YOU SUSPECT FRAUD ON YOUR ACCOUNT
We take suspicious account activity seriously. Call us at
800-245-2377 (toll free) if you suspect account fraud or if you have been the victim of identity theft.
WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR ONLINE PRIVACY
Regularly change your online account passwords
An easy and effective way to help avoid being a victim of computer-based identity theft is to change your password regularly and often, and to use a strong password.
How do you know if your password is strong enough? Strong ones have at least eight characters in uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, punctuation marks and symbols.
Online Tracking Practices