SMUD's privacy policy

Your privacy is fundamental to SMUD. In this policy, we'll discuss how we collect, use, disclose, transfer, and store your information and other topics affecting your information. Please take some time to read about our privacy practices and let us know if you have any questions.


Your personal information

SMUD's commitment to your privacy

To make sure your personal information is secure, we communicate our privacy and security guidelines to SMUD employees and strictly enforce privacy safeguards within our organization.

"Personal information" is any record that identifies an individual person. Examples are social security numbers, address, name, phone numbers, birth dates, and billing, credit, and energy use data specific to you.

To ensure your privacy, SMUD's Board of Directors adopted this "Information Management and Security Policy." In brief, we do not release to a third party any of your information that is proprietary or private without your written consent. The only exception is for information that's reasonably required to meet SMUD's business needs, for example:

  • To provide or bill for electrical power.
  • To maintain or operate SMUD's electric system or grid.
  • To plan, implement or evaluate energy-use programs, such as energy management, demand response, or energy efficiency.
  • To comply with a law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, such as a request from law enforcement, or a government agency when necessary for the performance of official duties, or a court order.

What personal information we collect

We collect customer information having to do with our business relationship with you and your use of our utility services. Here are some examples:

  • Contact information that allows us to communicate with you, including your name, address, telephone number, SMUD account number, and email address.
  • Information about your financial relationship with us, including your payment data, credit history, and Social Security number.
  • Electric usage data gathered by our metering systems.
  • Information gathered when you choose to take part in one of our programs, such as HomePower® or Greenergy®

When we collect personal information

We gather personal information at different times, including:

  • When you set up your account and interact with us about it or about your electric service and your participation in our programs.
  • When you use electricity, usage data is collected via our metering systems.
  • When you choose to engage with us through our website, smud.org (view our Terms and Conditions)
  • When we interact with third parties such as credit agencies.

How we use personal information

We use personal information to administer your account and inform you about your energy usage. We also use it to manage and improve our services and business operations. Some examples include:

  • To prepare your customer billing statement and in connection with billing and payment on your account.
  • To enable you to see your energy usage data via secure access on the Internet (smud.org)
  • To communicate with you about -
    • your energy use,
    • specific programs or opportunities we offer that may help you to lower your energy use or gain other benefits.
  • To provide you services or to complete your transactions or requests.
  • To administer sweepstakes, contests, or similar promotions in which you've entered your name.

In some instances, when you're on smud.org, we may transfer you to an outside service provided by a third-party operator. Occasionally, this new content may still seem to be a part of smud.org. In that case, we'll have an agreement in place with the third party that it will keep your personal information confidential and use it only to help us serve you.

How we protect personal information

SMUD takes precautions -- including administrative, technical, and physical measures -- to safeguard your personal information against loss, theft, and misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction.

SMUD uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption on all web pages where personal information is collected. Doing so protects the confidentiality of your personal information while it is transmitted over the Internet.

When you post on a social networking service, the personal information you share is visible to other users and can be read, collected, or used by them. You are responsible for the personal information you choose to share. For example, if you provide your name and email address on a social networking service, that information is public. Please take care when using these features.

Access, integrity and retention of personal information

SMUD makes it easy for you to keep your personal information accurate, complete, and up to date. Just log into your account at www.smud.org and update it.

For other personal information, we make good faith efforts to give you access so you can ask us to correct the data if it is inaccurate or to delete the data if SMUD is not required by law or for legitimate business purposes to keep it.

We may decline to process requests that are unreasonably repetitive, require disproportionate technical effort, jeopardize the privacy of others, are extremely impractical, or for which access is not otherwise required by law.

You can request access, correction, or deletion by emailing us at webstaff@smud.org.

We'll keep your personal information for the time necessary to fulfill the purposes we've outlined in "How we collect and use customers' personal information" of this Privacy Policy, unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law.

Children's privacy

We like to share energy and safety information with students. For example, we give free classroom materials to teachers on energy awareness and safety, and areas of our website that share information about energy and safety are intended for children.

Because we share our customers' concern that children's privacy is not to be risked, please note that since we don't monitor the ages of those who use our website, parents and guardians must monitor children's use, and children under the age of 18 must not submit personal information on any website without the consent of a parent or guardian.

How we collect and use customers' non-personal information

SMUD also may combine data about your electricity use in various formats so that it cannot be identified personally with you. For example, we could summarize total energy use for all homes and businesses in a certain geographic area. This kind of aggregated data is not subject to privacy restrictions. We use the information to manage, provide, and improve our services and business operations. Here are some examples:

  • To analyze rates and rate structures.
  • 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.

We collect other non-personal information in a form that does not identify specific individuals and we use, transfer, and disclose it for many purposes. The following are some examples of non-personal information that we collect and how we may use it:

  • We may gather information -- such as occupation, language, and zip code -- so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising.
  • We also may collect information regarding customer activities on our website. We combine this information and use it to learn what's most useful to our customers and to understand which parts of our website and services are of most interest.

If we do combine non-personal information with personal information, we protect the combined information as private and personal for as long as it is combined.

Cookies and other technologies

SMUD's website, online services, interactive applications, email messages, and advertisements may use "cookies" and other technologies such as pixel tags and web beacons. These technologies help us better understand user behavior, tell us which parts of our website people visit most often, and measure the effectiveness of advertisements and web searches. We treat information collected by cookies and other technologies as non-personal information.

However, when Internet Protocol (IP) addresses or similar identifiers are considered personal information by local law, we protect these identifiers as private and personal. As is true of most websites, we gather some information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes IP addresses, browser type and language, Internet service provider (ISP), referring and exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp, and "clickstream" statistics. We use this information to understand and analyze trends, to administer the site, to learn about customer behavior on the site, and to gather aggregate demographic information about those who use the website. We may use this information in our marketing and advertising services.

In some of our email messages, we use a "click-through URL" linked to content on the SMUD website. When customers click one of these URLs, they pass through a separate web server before arriving at the destination page on our website. We track this click-through data to help us determine interest in particular topics and measure the effectiveness of our customer communications. If you prefer not to be tracked in this way, just don't click text or graphic links in the email messages.

Pixel tags enable us to send email messages in a format customers can read, and they tell us whether mail has been opened. We may use this information to reduce or eliminate messages sent to customers.

Disclosing information to third parties

At times SMUD may make some personal information available to strategic partners that work with SMUD to provide services. Personal information will be shared only to provide or improve services and advertising; it will not be shared with third parties for their marketing purposes.

Service providers

SMUD shares personal information with companies that provide services, such as information processing, credit reporting, managing and enhancing customer data, customer service, assessing interest in our services, and conducting customer research or satisfaction surveys. These companies are obligated by contract with SMUD to protect your information.

Others

It may be necessary − by law, legal process, litigation, or requests from public and governmental authorities − for SMUD to disclose your personal information. We may also disclose information about you if we determine that for purposes of national security, law enforcement, or other issues of public importance, disclosure is necessary or appropriate.

We may also disclose information about you if we see that disclosure is reasonably necessary to enforce our terms and conditions or to protect our operations or users.

Third-party sites and services

While browsing smud.org, you may encounter hypertext links to other websites. These third-party websites may send their own cookies to you, log your IP address, and otherwise collect data or solicit personal information. SMUD does not control and is not responsible for what third parties do for their websites, or how they handle your personal information. Please be cautious and consult the privacy policies posted on each third-party website for further information.

Questions

If you have any questions or concerns about SMUD's Privacy Policy or data processing, please contact us.



SMUD may update its Privacy Policy from time to time. When we change the policy in a material way, we'll post a notice on our website along with the updated Privacy Policy.

Last updated: March 5, 2013

SMUD 6201 S Street, Sacramento, California, USA, 95817