Our Annual Privacy Notice to Minnesota Customers
We appreciate your business and the confidence you place in us to provide safe, reliable natural gas service and CenterPoint Energy’s Home Service Plus® products and services.
As our customer you share personal information with us, whether you’re 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.
CenterPointEnergy.com/Privacy for information about Your California Privacy Rights.
The information we collect and why
We collect some basic information about you so we can provide natural gas service and/or Home Service Plus® products and services to your home or business.
- Service address and mailing address
- Phone number
All our customers can enjoy billing conveniences and get usage, account and plan information online at CenterPointEnergy.com/MyAccount. To make this possible, we may collect information so we can communicate and transact through online channels:
- Social Security number (SSN), which is used only for credit check purposes by Home Service Plus
- Email address
- Financial information including bank account numbers, transaction numbers
- User name and password for access to your CenterPointEnergy.com online account
Please know that we collect and use personal information only in ways that are consistent with 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 Energy receiving your request, CenterPoint Energy 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 includes the digital footprint you leave after visiting our website. We study this data so we can improve popular web content and navigation and identify programs and services that are of interest, including:
- Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP)
- Gas affordability
- Energy management
- Home Service Plus
We use customer information for a variety of business purposes including updating website content and navigation and developing new products, services and programs.
How we may share your personal information
We do not sell your personal information.
We use your information to provide you with natural gas service and/or Home Service Plus products and services. We may also use your information to inform you about Home Service Plus products and services you are not already receiving. We may use your information for other purposes only if we get your written permission and provide you with clear details about what and with whom the information is shared.
Your written permission may be obtained electronically. 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, 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.
For tenants in apartments, office buildings and other commercial properties
To help commercial property owners and managers more efficiently manage energy consumption, we may provide them with whole building usage data. We disclose aggregated, de-identified data only after we’ve applied protocols to protect tenant identities and their usage. If we believe the data of any single tenant may somehow be identified, we will request tenant permission before sharing it. CenterPoint Energy may also provide notice to landlords if a tenant’s natural gas service has been or is about to be disconnected.
Sale of business assets
We may share your information if there is a sale or transfer of all or a portion of our business assets. Customer records and information are considered a business asset. 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 servers 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.
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 use, 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 safe-guards 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.
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 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
Attn: Privacy Correspondence
P.O. Box 59038
Minneapolis, MN 55459-0038