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PRIVACY POLICY

PRIVACY POLICY

Last Updated (11/24/2021)

Privacy Practices at Washington Gas

Protecting your information is important to us.  The following guidelines set forth our general privacy practices and principles that apply to information we collect through our WGL family of companies (together "WGL") in the United States and Canada and their websites listed below (the "Websites") and any of their subdomains and included webpages.

 

 WGL Entity Website
 Washington Gas https://www.washingtongas.com/
 Hampshire Gas http://www.wgl.com/hampshiregas
 WGL Energy  https://www.wglenergy.com/
 Washington Area Fuel Fund ("WAFF") https://washingtonareafuelfund.org/
 AltaGas https://www.altagas.ca/

 

We use this privacy notice to clearly disclose to you our privacy practices in a manner that is easy to understand.  If there is something you do not understand about our privacy practices, please feel free to contact us at customersupport@washgas.com.  

We do not intentionally collect information on our Websites from persons under the age of 18, so please do not use our Websites if you are under the age of 18.  We may change this notice from time to time so please check back often.  If we significantly change our collection, use, or disclosure practices, we will try to send you a notice via email if you have provided us with an email address.  Please keep in mind that some of the services mentioned specifically in this notice may not be available on the site at this time.   If you are a job applicant or an independent contractor engaged by us to perform services, we will provide you with a copy of our Privacy Policy for Employees, Job Applicants and Contractors. 

Our Websites are used to provide you information about the energy services we offer and permit you to access your account information and pay your monthly service bills.  We may also offer you opportunities to make charitable donations to our partnership with the Salvation Army or other charities.  Some of our Websites such as washingtongas.com allow prospective contractors to make inquiries about projects, our Residential Campaign and our Conversion Contractor Program.  

 

What information do we collect from you?

 

In brief:

As part of providing services to you, we may collect personal information about you.  

As part of providing services to you or to the business you represent (your "Business"), we may collect information, including personal information, about you or other individuals in your Business.  Personal information is data that can be used to identify you.  The information includes:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Mailing or Service Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Social Security Number
  • ID numbers such as passport, military ID, state issued ID, driver's license
  • Utility account number
  • Information about your home or property
  • Information about your family
  • Information about your company
  • Additional registration and login-related information, such as password and verification “security questions”
  • Financial-related information such as information you provide when you pay a bill online or submit our Direct Payment Plan Authorization Form
  • Health-related information such as medical information collected in our Medical Certification Form
  • Employment-related information
  • Other information you disclose when you send us an email or ask us a question about our Website or our services
  • Technical information about your use of our site including IP address, web server logs, viewing information, and operating system and web browser information
  • Contact information for individuals processing billing information we collect for your Business
  • For contractors we collect website address and information about appliances you offer and the types of services you provide.
  • For contractors and dealers, we collect information about your products and services in our Residential Campaign Order Form

We use a Customer Care and Billing System to log and store customer visits, customer logins, customer communications, customer interactions and billing information, payment history, payment methods, and customer utility services.

 

How do we collect information from you?

 

In brief:

We collect information from you directly when you enter it into a form on our Websites.  We also collect information when you correspond with us by email or by the chat function on our website, and when you use a mail-in form. We collect information from you indirectly and automatically through the use of cookies, web beacons and log files.  We collect information at utility payment kiosks. 

Direct Collection 

We collect much of the information listed above directly from you when you submit it on our Websites.  This includes information you share on the Contact Us page of our Websites or through our invoice processing system.  We also collect information through our mail-in forms such as our Medical Certification Form and our Direct Payment Plan Authorization Form. We may also collect your information at utility payment kiosks.

Indirect Collection – Cookies and Other Technology

As part of offering and providing customizable and personalized services, we use cookies and other online tracking technologies to store and sometimes track information about you.  We may use these technologies to:

  • Collect technical information
  • Provide you with personalized content based on your use of our site
  • Enable you to more easily use our site by remembering and using contact information, purchasing information, and registration information
  • Evaluate, monitor and analyze the use of our site and its traffic patterns to help improve our site and services
  • Assist us with ad reporting functions such as to learn which ads are bringing users to our Website
     
The types of technologies we use include:
 
Cookies. A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a Web server and stored on your computer’s hard drive.  Cookies enable us to identify your browser as a unique user.  Cookies may involve the transmission of information from us to you and from you to us.  Cookies may also be used by another party on our behalf to transfer information to us in accordance with their privacy statement.  Some cookies are "persistent cookies."  They are used by us each time you access our Website.  Other cookies are called "session cookies."  Session cookies are used only during a specific browsing session.  We may use a session cookie, for example, to remember that you have already navigated through a particular menu, or that you have entered in age information for a portion of a site that is restricted by age.  We may also use "analytics cookies" that allow web analytics services to recognize your browser or device and, for example, identify whether you have visited our Website before, what you have previously viewed or clicked on, and how you found us.  Analytics cookies may collect information about your location. This information is provided anonymously for statistical analysis only.  Analytics cookies are usually persistent cookies.
 
Google Analytics. If you do not want your activity on this Website to be tracked by Google Analytics, you may opt out by using this link: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en.
 
Advertising services.  We use a variety of advertising services to help advertise our services and determine the effectiveness of these services.  These services include Google Adwords, Pardot, LinkedIn Insights, Facebook Signal, Pixel, Twitter Analytics, Twitter Website Universal Tag, DoubleClick Floodlight, Quantcast Measurement, and Hubspot.  
 
Additional analytics services.  We use a variety of additional analytics technologies to, in part, improve our service offerings to you.  See above for examples of how we use this information.  Examples of additional services include Fastly, New Relic, Mouseflow, and Matomo.  
 
Web Beacons.  We also employ a software technology called a clear GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), also known as a pixel tag or Web beacon.  A clear GIF is a line of code that we place on our Websites or in e-mails which allows us to analyze our advertising and the general usage patterns of visitors to our Websites.  These help us better manage content on our site by informing us what content or promotions are effective.  Unless you consent, we do not collect personally identifiable information from you through the use of web beacons.  You may not disable Web beacons.
 
Log Files.  Like most standard website servers, we use log files.  Log files track Internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks.  We utilize this information to analyze trends, administer the site, prevent fraud, track website navigation in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.
 
Social Networking. Our Websites permit you to use a third party social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  These plug-ins allow you to follow us on those services.  When you use social networking platforms and plugins, you share your information with them, and their privacy notice applies to their disclosure of such information.  In addition, they may be able to collect information about you, including your activity, or may notify your connections on the social networking platform about your use of our Websites.  Such services may allow your activity to be monitored across multiple websites for purposes of delivering more targeted advertising.  Please note that their own privacy polices apply and we encourage you to read them.  We may add new social networking plugins and buttons to our Websites from time to time. We may also use third party plug-ins to display videos on our website.

 

What choices do you have about the collection of information about you?

 

In brief:

You can always choose not to submit information.  You can disable cookies in your browser.  You can choose not to use social networking plug-ins.  You can opt-out of our marketing related emails.

Direct Collection. If you do not want to share your information, you can choose not to participate in a particular service or activity.

Cookies.  You may disable browser cookies in your browser or set your browser to warn you when a cookie is being sent.  You may lose some features or functionality when you disable cookies.  Remember, also, that disabling cookies is browser specific.  If you log on using Google Chrome, you must also disable cookies in Safari if you use that browser at a different time. 

Web Beacons.  It is not possible to disable Web beacons.

Log Files.  It is not possible to disable log files.

Social Networking.  If you do not want to share your information, you can choose not to use social networking plug-ins.  

Marketing Emails.  To ensure that you will not receive recurring marketing or other information from us, unless you choose to, we will provide you with simple instructions on each marketing email from us on how to let us know that you have chosen to stop receiving such emails from us.

Do Not Track.  Do Not Track (DNT) is a privacy preference that users can set in their web browsers.  While the United States Federal Trade Commission has endorsed DNT, our Websites do not support DNT codes.  

 

How do we use your information?

 

In brief:

Our main goal in collecting information is to improve the site and provide you with the best possible experience on the site.  For example, by using the information we collect, we can provide you with an easy to use and readily available forum to ask questions about our services.  

We may use your personal information and technical information to:

  • Answer questions you may have about our products and services
  • Notify you of other products, services, and additional programs including assistance programs available from us and our affiliates
  • Provide you with account services for our products, services, or related programs
  • Engage contractors to assist with utility coverage for remodeling projects or appliance upgrades.
  • Personalize online content so that is applies to you and your interests
  • Enable you to pay our utility bills online. 
  • Send you emails about updates, information, or alerts regarding the Website
  • Provide you with advertising targeted on your interests
  • Improve our products, services, and Website 
  • Compile, analyze, and do research on our users’ demographics and behavior
  • Operate the Websites, including administration, internal operations, troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical, and survey purposes
  • Facilitate applications and interviews for career opportunities
  • Manage your access to the Websites
  • Send you information that allows you to use the Websites
  • Comply with applicable laws and regulations and other legal requirements
  • Maintain the security of the Websites
  • Detect, investigate, and prevent activities that may violate our policies or be illegal
  • Improve the Websites and present content and information in an optimal way for you and your device(s)
  • Provide advertisements on the Websites
  • Measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we provide to you and other customers like you, and to deliver relevant advertising to you. 
  • Process your Medical Certification Form containing your request to hold on shutting off utility service due to a medical condition.
  • Engage you as a contractor or enroll you in our Residential Campaign, Conversion Contractor Program or Employer Contractor Network if you are a utilities contractor. 

We use, and share location data only to provide and improve our service. We use analytics cookie information for analytics purposes but do not associate your personal information with them.

 

Who is collecting your information?

 

In brief:

We collect your personal information and may use third party service providers to assist with that collection.  

When you are on our site and are asked for personal information, you are sharing that information with us and our service providers.  Although we generally operate the Website and collect the information, we may engage third party service providers to assist us in that collection. 

Other websites to which we link may collect personally identifiable information about you when you visit those sites.  The information practices of other websites linked to our websites are not covered by this privacy notice. 

 

With whom do we share your information?

 

In brief:

We share your information with companies who assist us in providing services, when we need to protect our Website or information and when we sell our businesses.  We do not sell your personal information to third parties.

We will not disclose any of your personally identifiable information except when we have your permission or under special circumstances, such as when we believe in good faith that the law requires it or under the circumstances described below.  These are some of the ways that your information may be disclosed: 

Service Providers

We hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, including packaging, delivering, or mailing, website development and operation, answering customer questions about products or services, sending postal mail or email, analyzing website use, processing payments, providing investor information, and processing data.  We will only provide those companies the information they need to deliver the service, and they are contractually prohibited from using that information for any other reason.  We share your information with our Customer Care and Billing System provider, our application support provider, and our payment processors including ACI Worldwide and OPAY.  We use Microsoft Outlook for our email systems including all incoming and outgoing e-mails.  

Contractors

We have a network of contractors who assist with utilities coverage for remodeling projects and appliance upgrades.  We may disclose your information to such contractors to enable them to provide you with services. If you are a customer, we may disclose contractor information to you to receive services. 

Data in the Aggregate

We may disclose “blinded” aggregated data and user statistics to prospective partners and other third parties.  Blinded data is data that does not identify an individual person.

Other

We also may disclose your information in special cases.  For example, when we believe that we must disclose information to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be violating our Terms of Service, Master Service Agreement or Acceptable Use Policy, or may be causing injury to or interference with our rights or property, other website users or customers and their information, or anyone else who may be harmed by such activities.  We may disclose access or monitor your personal information when we believe in good faith that the law requires it and for administrative and other purposes that we deem necessary to maintain, service and improve our products and services and our information security. 

As we continue to develop our business, we may buy or sell businesses or assets.  In such transactions, confidential customer information generally is one of the transferred business assets.  In the event of a transaction involving the sale of some or all of our businesses, customer and site visitor information may be one of the transferred assets and may be disclosed in connection with negotiations relating to a proposed transaction.  In such case, the transferred information may become subject to a different privacy notice.

We may also, from time to time, transfer your information to our affiliates located in another country, including between Canada and the United States. Such affiliates may receive, process, and handle your for the purposes described in this Privacy Notice and will provide a level of protection for your information that is comparable to that provided by us. However, while we will take all appropriate measures to prevent the use or disclosure of your information, other than as required for the purposes set out in this Privacy Notice, information processed and stored in a foreign jurisdiction may be accessible to foreign government agencies, including law enforcement and national security authorities.

 

How can I control my personal information?

 

In brief:

We offer our customers choices for the collection, use and sharing of personal information.

You may contact us at customersupport@washgas.com if you wish to view, edit, or delete your personal information from our database, and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to accommodate your request.  

If you believe that any inaccurate or inappropriate information has been obtained or provided to others through your use of this Website, you should contact a representative at customersupport@washgas.com.

 

How do we protect your information?

 

In brief:

We use commercially reasonable efforts to protect your information.

Financial Information

Billing information is handled securely whenever transmitted or received online. 

When credit card information is submitted in our billing system it is stored with 3rd party payment processors, presently ACI Worldwide and OPAY. 

The Website does not use encryption except where noted.  

You should consult the privacy policies of these third parties for further information. 

When we collect information in paper format, such as through our Direct Payment Plan Authorization Form, we store your contact information and financial account information in an encrypted format and destroy your paper form.

Other Information

Because information sent through the Internet travels from computer to computer throughout the world, when you give us information, that information may be sent electronically to servers outside of the country where you originally entered the information.  Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.  Except as specifically stated, the Websites do not use security encryption measures.  Information that you disclose by use of the Websites (as with any site that is non-secure), by posting a message or using e-mail, potentially could be collected and used by others.  This may result in unsolicited messages from third parties or use of such information by third parties for their own purposes, legal or illegal.  As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or from our services, and you do so at your own risk.  Once we receive your transmission, we use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure its security on our systems.

 

Privacy Principles for Our US Users

 

Privacy Principles

WGL follows the 5 privacy principles outlined by the Federal Trade Commission.

Notice/Awareness Consumers should be given notice of an entity's information practices before any personal information is collected from them.
Choice/Consent Consumers should be given options to control how their data is used.
Access/Participation Consumers have the right to view data collected, to verify it, and contest its accuracy.
Integrity/Security Integrity/Security Consumer information must be collected and stored using methods that keep personal information accurate and secure.
Enforcement/Redress Consumers must have an enforcement mechanism for violations of their privacy rights.  WGL offers redress to its users through its self-regulation practices.  Contact us at customersupport@washgas.com if your privacy rights have been violated by anyone in the WGL organization. 

 

Privacy Principles for Our Canadian Users

 

Privacy Principles

WGL follows the 10 fair information principles for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information, as well as for providing access to personal information, as outlined in Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA")

Accountability We are responsible for personal information under our control.  We appointed someone to be accountable for its compliance with these fair information principles. You can contact this privacy officer at customersupport@washgas.com
Identifying Purposes The purposes for which the personal information is being collected must be identified by us before or at the time of collection.
Consent The knowledge and consent of the individual are required for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information, except where inappropriate.
Limiting Collection The collection of personal information must be limited to that which is needed for the purposes identified by us. Information must be collected by fair and lawful means.
Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention Unless the individual consents otherwise or it is required by law, personal information can only be used or disclosed for the purposes for which it was collected. Personal information must only be kept as long as required to serve those purposes.
Accuracy Personal information must be as accurate, complete, and up-to-date as possible in order to properly satisfy the purposes for which it is to be used.
Safeguarding We will protect personal information by the use of security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. 
Openness We must make detailed information about its policies and practices relating to the management of personal information publicly and readily available.
Individual Access Individual Access Upon request, an individual must be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of their personal information and be given access to that information. An individual shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate.
Challenging Compliance An individual shall be able to challenge an organization’s compliance with the above principles. Their challenge should be addressed to the person accountable for our compliance with PIPEDA. 
International Transfers of Personal Information In some circumstances, the sharing of personal information with third parties or other group companies may involve the storage or processing of personal information outside Canada, including, without limitation, in the United States. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that any international transfer of personal information is carried out in accordance with applicable privacy laws. The protection of such personal information will be subject to the legal requirements of the jurisdictions where the information is transferred, including lawful requirements to disclose information to government authorities in those countries. If you have any questions about the collection, use, disclosure or storage of personal information, please our privacy officer at customersupport@washgas.com.

 

Specific Terms for WGL Entities

 

WGL Entity

Specific Terms

WGL Holdings, Inc. The WGL Holdings website is used to provide news and investor information about the WGL family of companies.  It does not collect personal information other than through the "Contact Us" link. 
Washington Gas Washington Gas collects information from prospective contractors for their participation in projects, the Washington Gas Residential Campaign and the Conversion Contractor Program.  That information is collected here. Washington Gas also collects information from companies and dealers wishing to participate in advertising programs.  That information is collected via a mail-in form available here. The information collected via these forms is used to respond to request for information about these programs.
AltaGas Please see the AltaGas Privacy Policy. 

 

Who do you contact with questions or concerns about our Privacy Notice? 

If you need further assistance, please send an e-mail with your questions or comments to customersupport@washgas.com or write us at: 

Washington Gas
Attn:  Privacy 
1000 Maine Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20024