Along with other utilities in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region, Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) continues to monitor the financial issues and discussions surrounding the recent historic winter weather event as it affected the energy market. While there are financial settlements still to be resolved in ERCOT and the situation changes daily, BTU […]
Bryan Texas Utilities Policy on Privacy and Confidentiality
To establish fair information principles for Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) in carrying out its responsibilities to respect the privacy and confidentiality of its customers.
- a. Notice
- i. BTU discloses to its customers its policies and practices for the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of identifiable information about its customers.
- ii. BTU collects and maintains appropriate information about its customers as a routine part of its operations.
- iii. When providing electricity and related City of Bryan services, BTU collects information from its customers, including name, address, telephone number, social security number, and driver’s license number.
- iv. Occasionally, BTU may survey a sample of its customers to collect information to identify needs or improve service.
- v. Other activities by BTU or affiliated third parties acting on our behalf, either now or in the future, will result in the collection of additional information about customer’s property and activities, This information will be collected and maintained only when and to the extent appropriate to provide service.
- vi. This notice describes, generally BTU’s privacy and confidentiality policies. The policy is not a format limitation on the ability of BTU to use, manage, and disclose its records as the utility determines to be necessary, appropriate, or as required by law. It is subject to change without notice.
- b. Trust
- i. General Practices: BTU maintains information about customers for purposes that are suitable to its operations and management. Information is collected only through lawful and fair means for appropriate purposes. BTU is committed to maintaining accurate, complete, timely, relevant, and appropriate information about its customers as necessary for the purpose for which the information is to be used.
- ii. Access and Correction: BTU generally permits its customers to access and seek correction of records about themselves that are used by BTU to provide service, for billing, and to manage accounts. Any person who wants to identify personal records maintained by BTU, access records, or correct the records should contact the utility.
- c. Security
- i. BTU maintains customer information with technical, administrative, and physical, safeguards to protect against loss, unauthorized access, destruction, misuse, modification, and improper disclosure. No record or computer system can ever be fully protected against every possible hazard. BTU provides reasonable and appropriate security to protect against foreseeable hazards.
- ii. BTU requires its employees and, when practicable and appropriate, its affiliates and contractors who have access to identifiable customer information to comply with this policy. Any employee or contractor who fails to comply with these rules may be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
- d. Use and Disclosure
- i. BTU uses and discloses identifiable information about customers in definable and responsible ways in order to carry out its operations. This section describes how identifiable information about customers may be used and disclosed.
- ii. Records may be disclosed to affiliates or contractors hired by BTU to assist in carrying out operations, such as service, billing, and management functions to include legal, audit, and collection.
- iii. Customer information may be disclosed to and shared with commercial and consumer credit reporting agencies for credit related activities (e.g. the reporting of delinquent or bad debt).
- iv. Records may be disclosed to government regulators and other government agencies when authorized by law.
- v. Records may also be compiled in aggregate form for BTU management activities.
- vi. Records may be disclosed when required by law, such as in response to a search warrant, subpoena, or court order. BTU may use and disclose records for investigations into employee misconducts or for law enforcement investigations. Disclosures may also be make when appropriate to protect BTU’s legal rights or during emergencies if physical safety is believed to be at risk. These events are unlikely, but they are possible. BTU will take reasonable steps to limit the scope and consequences of any of these disclosures.
- vii. Records may be shared with other utilities under shared service agreements or to meet operational requirements.
- viii. Records about a customer may be disclosed at the request of or with permission of the customer.
- ix. In addition, customer information may be shared with affiliates and partners of BTU that offer products and services to customers.
- x. BTU does not sell, rent, loan, exchange, or otherwise release mailing lists or telephone lists of customers. BTU does not disclose any information about a customer to non-affiliated third parties without the prior, written consent of the customer.
- e. Questions and Disputes
- i. Thus policy is maintained and supervised by BTU. Questions about the policy may be directed to the main office. Any disputes over access, correction, or other matters may also be directed to that office. BTU will do its best to resolve any questions or problems that arise regarding the use of customer information.
- a. The board shall ensure that this policy reflects current practices for personal information about customers.
- b. The General Manger shall ensure that this policy is adhered to.
IV. Exemptions to Chapter 182 of the Texas Utilities Code
- *Notwithstanding your request, the information may be released to (1) an official or employee for the state, a political subdivision of the state, or the United States acting in an official capacity; (2) an employee of a utility acting in connection with the employee’s duties; (3) a consumer reporting agency; (4) a contractor or subcontractor approved by and providing services to the utility, the state, a political subdivision of the state, or the United States; (5) a person for whom the customer has contractually waived confidentiality for personal information; or (6) another entity that provides water, wastewater, sewer, gas, garbage, electricity, or drainage services for compensation.