Guidelines on Sharing Personal Information for Energy Disconnection Practices

November 16, 2011

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner in conjunction with an Alberta Utilities Commission led consultation with industry stakeholders and social service agencies has developed guidelines for the sharing of personal information in the event of disconnection of natural gas or electricity services.

The guidelines are designed to assist energy retailers in determining when they can share personal information with other businesses or with family or friends of an individual to facilitate reconnection of energy services.

The guidelines balance the privacy of the individual with the expectation that information can be shared in certain circumstances without the consent of the individual to facilitate reconnection of their energy services.The guidelines outline several sections of the Personal Information Protection Act whereby consent is required to share personal information between organizations. The guidelines also outline circumstances when information can be shared without consent, such as when an individual is deemed at risk as a result of the disconnection of their natural gas or electricity services during winter.