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As of: 12:23 AM, 10/1/20

Notice of Consumers Energy’s Privacy Policy

Last modified: March 31, 2020

Definitions

"Aggregated Data" means any Consumption Data or Customer Account Information, from which all identifying information has been removed so that your individual data or information cannot be associated with you without extraordinary effort.

"Consumption Data" means your specific electric and gas usage data collected by utility meters by us and stored in our systems.

"Contractors" means vendors, agents, or affiliates that provide service to or on behalf of us.

"Customer Account Information" means personally identifiable information including customer address, contact information, payment history, account number, and amount billed. Includes information received by us from you for purposes of participating in regulated utility programs, including bill payment assistance, shutoff protection, renewable energy, demand-side management, load management, energy efficiency, or value-added programs and services.

"Informed Customer Consent" means, in the case where consent is required: (1) you are provided with a clear statement of the data or information to be collected and allowable uses of that data or information by the party seeking consent; (2) the frequency of data or information release and the duration of time for which the consent is valid; and (3) process by which you may revoke consent. In no case shall silence by you can ever be construed to mean express or implied consent to a request by us, or our Contractors. Your consent may be documented in writing, electronically, or through recording of an oral communication.

“Personal Information" means any information that, when used alone or combined with other personal or identifying information, can be used to distinguish or derive the identity of an individual, family, or household who is or which includes you as our customer. Such information is subject to confidentiality requirements.

"Primary Purpose" means the collection, use, or disclosure of information collected by us or supplied by you in order to: (1) provide, bill, or collect for regulated service; (2) provide for system, grid, or operational needs; (3) provide services as required by state or federal law or by order of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC); (4) plan, implement, or evaluate energy-related programs, products or services related to energy assistance, demand response, energy management, energy efficiency, or renewable energy.

“Secondary Purpose" means any purpose that is not a Primary Purpose.

"Third Party" means a person or entity that has no contractual relationship with us to perform services or act on behalf of us.

“Value-added Programs and Services (VAPS)” means programs not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission and services that are utility or energy related, including, but not limited to, home comfort and protection, appliance service, building energy performance, alternative energy options, or engineering and construction services. These programs are not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

“We” means Consumers Energy.

“Written Consent” means a signed form with your signature received by us through mail, facsimile, email, or website, or recorded verbal consent. A digitally signed or orally recorded consent meets the intent of Written Consent.

"You" means any Consumers Energy customer, website visitor, or mobile application user.

Purpose of This Notice

The Customer Data Privacy Policy was initiated for the benefit of our customers, to ensure the protection of customer-specific energy use data and Personal Information. The goal is to strike a reasonable balance between the collection, use or disclosure of any Customer Account Information by Consumers Energy to provide safe and reliable energy service, complying with legislative and regulatory mandates and meeting customers’ expectations regarding the collection, disclosure and use of their Customer Account Information and Personal Information.

Consumers Energy’s privacy policy is reviewed on a periodic basis. When an update is made, a notice of Consumers Energy’s privacy policy will be prominently posted on the Consumers Energy website.

Collection

Consumers Energy collects Customer Account Information, Personal Information, and Consumption Data as necessary to accomplish its Primary Purposes such as providing energy services. Examples of the information collected include, but are not limited to:

  • Contact information that allows us to communicate with you, including your name, address, telephone number and email address.
  • Billing and payment information, including your payment data, credit history, driver’s license or state ID number and Social Security Number.
  • Electric and natural gas Consumption Data gathered by our metering systems such as:
    • Gas data: volume of gas (ccf, mcf), British Thermal Units (BTUs, therms, decatherms, dth)
    • Electric data: kilowatt (kW), kilowatt-hour (kWh), voltage, voltage-ampere reactive (VAR), power factor (PF)
    • Other information, such as outage and tampering events, that is collected by utility meters
  • Information gathered when you choose to participate in company programs or services, such as bill payment assistance, shut-off protection, renewable energy, demand-side management, load management or energy efficiency, or Secondary Purposes like VAPS or Appliance Service Plans.
  • Anonymized website cookie data for the purposes of analysis on how visitors use the Consumers Energy website.

We use information collected from you to fulfill the Primary Purpose for which it is collected to provide the requested service. Use of your data for reasons other than the purpose collected, if not ordered by the MPSC, requires your Informed Customer Consent. This includes use of your information by the Company for its Secondary Purposes.

Company Usage

Consumers Energy will not disclose your information to third parties without your Written Consent or recorded oral consent, with the following exceptions:

  • When it is necessary or related to our provision of electric or natural gas services (Primary Purposes), Consumers Energy may disclose your information to Agents and Contractors working on behalf of the company without first obtaining your consent.
  • Consumers Energy will disclose your information as directed or required by any warrants, court orders, subpoena, or regulatory requirement as ordered by the MPSC. The provision of such information will be reasonably limited to the amount authorized by law or reasonably necessary to fulfill a request compelled by law.
  • We may provide third parties with aggregated and non-identifiable data, containing general characteristics of a customer group, which is used for analysis, reporting or program designs.
  • In accordance with the Code of Conduct approved by the MPSC, we may provide third parties with names and addresses of customers who received marketing from VAPS
  • Specific Customer Account Information either with your Informed Customer Consent (written or oral) or after we ensure vendors or a third party contractor has agreed to maintain the data in accordance with our privacy policies and standards.
  • We will not sell your information, except in connection with sales of certain aged receivables to Third-Party collection firms for purposes of removing this liability from its accounts.

Customer Usage

You have a right to know what information Consumers Energy maintains about you, except for proprietary data or that which is used for internal Consumers Energy business purposes only. The Company will respond to requests for the information which Consumers Energy maintains about you within 10 business days after you contact us.

Some requests for information extend beyond typical customer information. Fulfilling these requests requires special data processing that is not a part of normal utility service and results in expenses that would not otherwise be incurred. Such requests are fulfilled at the discretion of the Company. The costs of fulfilling any special requests shall be borne solely by you and be based on the specifics of the data request and the associated costs of developing, processing, and transmitting the requested data.

You may request that your information be released to you or a Third Party of your choice. Consumers Energy is not responsible for a Third Party's unauthorized disclosure or use of customer information. The following methods may be used to make these requests:

Website:

To obtain your Consumption Data or other available information from the Company’s website, you can access the customer portal by navigating to https://www.consumersenergy.com and logging into your account OR by creating a profile by providing Street Address / Last Name / Organization Name / Phone Number or Account Number.

From the customer portal, you can obtain your Consumption Data by navigating to Energy Use Details and selecting the Energy Insights tab. Data can be downloaded by clicking the green button labeled “Download My Data”.

From the customer portal, you can also forward your Consumption Data to a listed Third Party by navigating to Energy Use Details and selecting the Energy Insights tab. Data can be downloaded by clicking the green button labeled “Share My Data”.

In Writing or by Email

To request Consumption Data or to request that it be released directly to a Third Party of your choice not listed on the customer portal, use these steps:

Residential Customers

  • Complete the Release of Customer Information form with all required information.
  • Return the completed form to the address (or email) provided on the form.
  • Your request will be processed within 10 business days of receipt of Written Consent.
  • Note: You must provide all information requested on the form. Incomplete forms will not be processed.

Business/Commercial and Industrial Customers

  • Complete the Business Center Release Of Customer Information.
  • Mail form to:
    BUSINESS CENTER
    CONSUMERS ENERGY
    4000 CLAY AVENUE SW
    PO BOX 201
    GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49501-0201
  • Your request will be processed within 10 business days of receipt of Written Consent.
  • Note: You must provide all information requested on the form. Incomplete forms will not be processed.

You can request corrections or amendments to Customer Account Information or Personal Information that we collect, store, use or distribute. Requests of this nature shall be made in writing.

Protecting Your Information

We use industry-standard administrative, technical, and physical security measures to ensure the integrity of our systems and to protect your information from unauthorized access, destruction or alteration. Such protection measures include an enterprise security program based upon industry standard frameworks, security awareness for employees, dedicated team to detect and respond to threats, and collaboration with peers, state and federal partners.

Questions or inquiries regarding this policy can be directed to Privacy@cmsenergy.com or by calling 800-477-5050.

Data Privacy Tariff (Electric Service)

Data Privacy Tariff (Natural Gas Service)