Alternatively you may email AusNet Services' Privacy Officer at email@example.com or send written correspondence to:
The Privacy Officer
Locked Bag 14051
Melbourne City Mail Centre 8001
Privacy Notification – Collection of customers personal information
AusNet Services provides services to you so you can consume electricity or gas at your home, business or other premises. So we can provide these services, we collect certain information about you. Some of the information is “personal information” and we are required to handle that information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1998. The Privacy Act contains the Australian Privacy Principles, which require us to tell you about certain matters if we collect personal information from you, or from a third party about you. This leaflet contains the information we are required to give you.
If the account with the energy retailer for your premises is in your name, we collect and store your name and contact details, including your telephone number(s) and postal address; the address of the metered premises; and your metering data. We collect your name and contact details from your retailer, and some of your metering data is provided to us by a service provider contracted to your retailer. We may collect other personal information about you, even if you are not the account holder, if that information is reasonably necessary for us to provide services to you.
Sometimes, AusNet Services collects, uses or discloses personal information about you because we are required to do so by national or Victorian laws and regulations, including the National Electricity Law, the National Gas Law, or the rules and regulatory instruments made under those laws.
We collect, use and disclose your personal information for a range of purposes, including so we can:
- provide your metering data to your retailer so you can be billed for the energy you consume;
- provide information to your retailer about your energy supply service and other services we provide to you, so your retailer can bill you for these services;
- provide you with products and services you request e.g. network connection or restoring energy supply;
- validate and process your request for access to your metering data;
- validate and process your request to register for our electricity online portal, myHomeEnergy;
- verify your identity before we disclose information about the services we provide to you; and
- notify you about supply outages or interruptions, or provide other notices and advice.
If we do not collect your personal information, we are unlikely to be able to supply these products and services to you. It may also mean your retailer cannot supply you with electricity or gas.
AusNet Services collects metering data at regular intervals from the electricity or gas meter at your premises. Metering data is data about the flow of electricity or gas to the premises and it tells us how much energy has been consumed at the meter site. We give your metering data to your retailer so you can be billed for the energy you use, and to the Australian Energy Market Operator, the statutory body responsible for administering the wholesale market in which electricity is bought and sold. We explain how we collect and use metering data in the AusNet Services Metering Data Privacy Statement.
From time to time, AusNet Services may enter into commercial arrangements (e.g. to outsource certain functions) which require personal information about our customers to be used by or disclosed to organisations located overseas. Where AusNet Services enters into such arrangements, we require the overseas organisation to handle any personal information it receives in accordance with the Privacy Act. AusNet Services currently has outsourcing arrangements in place with organisations located in the Philippines, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and the United States of America.
If you would like more information about how AusNet Services handles your personal information you can contact us by:
- contacting our Customer Contact Centre on 1300 360 795; or
- writing to our Privacy Officer.
The Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) in Victoria commissioned an independent investigation into privacy issues associated with smart meters. The investigation, conducted by Lockstep Consulting in 2011, found no collections, disclosures or other handling of personal information associated with the smart meter program that would go beyond the legitimate purposes of the Victorian AMI program. A copy of the report is available on the DSDBI website.
Your electricity usage data: AusNet Services handles your metering data in accordance with the Privacy Act. Our Metering Data Privacy Statement explains the measures AusNet Services has in place to ensure your data is protected from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access modification or disclosure.
AusNet Services’ collection, use and disclosure of metering data is also subject to strict confidentiality rules set out by the Essential Services Commission’s licensing framework and the National Electricity Rules.
AusNet Services Metering Data Privacy Statement
AusNet Services collects data about the flow of electricity or gas to each of the premises connected to its distribution networks. This data, called metering data, tells AusNet Services how much energy is consumed at the metered site.
1. Why does AusNet Services collect metering data?
AusNet Services collects metering data because it is reasonably necessary for AusNet Services to perform one or more of its functions or activities. The main reasons (called primary purposes) for collecting metering data include:
- to allow energy retailers to bill customers for the energy they consume and, in the case of electricity, to enable the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to operate and administer the wholesale electricity market
- to allow AusNet Services to provide metering data services, which include testing meter accuracy
- in the case of metering data collected from smart meters, to assist you to better manage your electricity consumption by providing greater transparency of energy usage and usage patterns
- informing customers about products, services and benefits we offer that help us to manage efficient, reliable electricity and gas networks
- to identify unsafe supply conditions and reliability issues within our distribution networks
- to enable AusNet Services to comply with its legal and regulatory obligations.
AusNet Services also collects metering data for the following related purposes (called secondary purposes):
- business planning and product development
- operating, maintaining, managing, planning and developing AusNet Services' energy networks
- for a purpose that the individual would reasonably expect and which is related to the primary purpose for collecting the information
- any other purpose for which you have given your consent.
2. How does AusNet Services collect metering data?
The way AusNet Services collects metering data depends on the type of meter you have. For gas meters, and interval and accrual electricity meters, the data is collected manually by AusNet Services or one of its authorised meter reading agents. A meter reader comes to the supply address, inspects the meter and records the information shown on the meter. Manual meters are read at regular intervals, usually every two months for gas and every three months for electricity.
If you have an electricity smart meter, the metering data is recorded remotely every half hour. The metering data is sent to AusNet Services electronically via a secure two-way communication link throughout the day.
3. What does AusNet Services use metering data for?
AusNet Services may use or disclose metering data for one or more of the following purposes:
- to enable you to use AusNet Services' myHomeEnergy portal (at www.myhomeenergy.com.au) or the Victorian Energy Compare application (https://compare.switchon.vic.gov.au/)
- to enable you to receive goods or services from a third party you have engaged, such as an energy broker, where you authorise AusNet Services to make the disclosure
- to determine whether products or services offered by AusNet Services from time to time would assist you to manage your energy consumption and, if so, to give you information about the availability, features and benefits of those products or services
- to enable functions to be outsourced to third parties engaged by AusNet Services
- to comply with AusNet Services' legal and regulatory obligations, including its obligations to provide metering data to you (upon request), AEMO and your energy retailer(s)
- to analyse the performance of the distribution networks, including to identify unsafe supply conditions and reliability issues
In some circumstances, AusNet Services may use other personal information it holds about you (such as your name, address or telephone number) to confirm your identity and validate your request before it discloses your metering data. AusNet Services does this to ensure it discloses metering data in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Some commercial arrangements (such as outsourcing arrangements to manage metering data processing exceptions) require metering data to be disclosed to, or used in, overseas locations. Where AusNet Services enters into such arrangements, it will require the overseas organisation that receives or uses the metering data to handle it in accordance with the Privacy Act. AusNet Services currently has outsourcing arrangements in place with organisations located in the Philippines, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and the United States of America.
AusNet Services may use or disclose metering data for other purposes provided:
- you would reasonably expect the information to be used or disclosed for that purpose and the purpose is related to a primary purpose;
- you give your consent; or
- the use or disclosure is permitted by an Australian law (including the Privacy Act) or an order made by an Australian court or tribunal.
AusNet Services may use or disclose de-identified metering data for network management purposes e.g. to develop new demand management products and services, or to plan network augmentations. De-identified metering data is created by removing or obscuring all information from the metering data that could be used to identify an individual. De-identified metering data does not contain personal information and is not subject to the APPs.
4. How does AusNet Services store my metering data? Is it secure?
AusNet Services stores metering data in a metering database hosted on servers housed in secure data centres and archiving facilities. Physical and electronic access to the metering database is restricted to personnel who require access in order to perform a function or activity for AusNet Services that uses metering data.
AusNet Services takes reasonable steps to protect metering data from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. AusNet Services' system controls:
- include an intrusion prevention system to prevent unauthorised access
- segregate critical systems to separate interval data from other customer information
- detect tampering with metering data
- use data encryption to secure data sent remotely from the meter to AusNet Services' network
- use digital certificates to authenticate meters before they can be connected to the network
- monitor system traffic
- maintain a log of every operator’s activities and record user access to all telecommunications system elements handling personal information including metering data.
5. Can I get access to my metering data?
If you are connected to AusNet Services' electricity network and you are the primary account holder, AusNet Services is generally required to give you access to your electricity metering data if requested. AusNet Services is not required to comply with requests that are, for example, frivolous or vexatious.
Eligible customers connected to AusNet Services' electricity distribution network can register for the myHomeEnergy portal by visiting www.myhomeenergy.com.au. Using this portal, you can access your metering data in a format that allows you to understand your consumption patterns. You can also upload your metering data to the My Power Planner application on the Victorian Energy Compare website (https://compare.switchon.vic.gov.au/) to assess competing supply offers from electricity retailers.
If you are a gas customer, or you have a smart meter that cannot be read remotely, you may access your metering data by contacting your energy retailer.
Before AusNet Services releases your metering data to you, you must provide sufficient personal information so that we can verify your identity and confirm that you are the primary account holder.
You can also authorise AusNet Services to allow a third party to access to your metering data, such as an energy broker or someone who holds a power of attorney in relation to your account.
6. What can I do if I think my metering data is not correct?
AusNet Services takes reasonable steps to ensure metering data is accurate, up to date and complete. If you believe your metering data is not correct, you should contact your electricity or gas retailer (as appropriate) in the first instance because your retailer is responsible for billing enquiries. If your retailer cannot resolve your concern, you can contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (www.ewov.com.au).
If you believe your meter may be faulty, please contact AusNet Services. As well as providing your name, address, and the nature of the fault, you will need your National Metering Identifier (NMI) (for electricity) or your Metering Installation Registration Number (MIRN) (for gas), which are printed on your bill.
7. Need more information or have a feedback?
If you would like further information about AusNet Services' privacy practices or you have a complaint relating to privacy, you can:
- telephone the AusNet Services Customer Contact Centre on 1300 360 795; or
- write to the AusNet Services Privacy Officer via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via post at:
The Privacy Officer
Locked Bag 14051
Melbourne City Mail Centre VIC 8001