Data Privacy Consent Form FAQs from Denver
The consent process, including the form, is mandated by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, which regulates utility service providers in Colorado, including Xcel Energy.
HomeSmart accesses certain information Xcel Energy maintains about you to establish your HomeSmart account and on ongoing basis to provide and bill you for appliance repair services. Without your consent to this disclosure, we will not be able to provide services to you under your HomeSmart Repair plan.
HomeSmart is responsible for safeguarding the privacy and security of the information the company maintains about you (including the data we receive from Xcel Energy). We do not sell your information.
Q. Why are you asking for my consent?
The form and the consent process are the result of changes in regulatory requirements that apply to disclosures of customer information by utilities – including Xcel Energy – to third parties. With some exceptions, the new requirements mandate that a utility receive the customer’s authorization before it may disclose information about that customer to third parties. Even though HomeSmart is an affiliate of Xcel Energy, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission considers HomeSmart to be a third party.
Q. Why can’t I provide consent by telephone?
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission requires that you complete the consent form in hard copy or electronically. Therefore, you must return the form that we mailed you or fill out the online consent form. Unfortunately, the Colorado Public Utility Commission requirements do not allow verbal consent.
Q. Why didn’t you ask for my consent when I applied for a HomeSmart account?
In the past, HomeSmart relied on the consent implicit in the customer’s request to obtain HomeSmart products or services. In addition, the regulatory consent requirement is relatively recent and therefore HomeSmart was not required in the past to obtain customers’ consent to access the data Xcel Energy maintained about them.
Q. Why is my consent so urgent now if I have been a HomeSmart customer for years?
We are asking for your consent now because of the recent changes in regulations that impose limitations on how utilities – including Xcel Energy – may disclose information about their customers. To access Xcel Energy-maintained data in the past, HomeSmart relied on the consent implicit in a customer’s request to obtain HomeSmart products or services. The current process requires explicit consent to the disclosure, and we must access your data maintained by Xcel Energy to continue providing appliance repair services to you.
Q. What types of information do you need to access?
The consent form describes in detail the types of information we obtain from Xcel Energy. The customer data to which we are requesting access from Xcel Energy includes premise number, billing address, physical address, customer account number, account history, the identity of the customer of record and others who may act on behalf of that customer.
Q.How do you use the information Xcel Energy maintains about me?
Here are the primary purposes for which we use the information:
- When you sign up for a HomeSmart account, HomeSmart requests your contact information and account number from Xcel Energy in order to set up a new account.
- HomeSmart also obtains information from Xcel Energy’s billing system every time you request services from HomeSmart. To provide appliance repair services you request, HomeSmart obtains your Xcel Energy account information to verify that you are current on your Xcel Energy account.
Q. Is my HomeSmart service really going to be cancelled if I do not mail in this form?
Without your consent we are not able to continue providing you with appliance repair services. You must complete and return the form we mailed to you or complete the online form.
Q. Isn’t HomeSmart part of Xcel Energy?
Q. Does anything change regarding my HomeSmart service if I consent?
No. If you authorize Xcel Energy to share your information with HomeSmart, we will continue providing appliance repair services to you without interruption. If you do not authorize the disclosure, we will no longer be able to provide those services to you.
Q. What does the consent form mean when it says:
“I understand that once customer data has been provided to Company, Utility will have no control over and no responsibility for the Company’s use of the data. The Utility shall not be responsible for monitoring or taking any steps to ensure that Company to whom the data is disclosed is maintaining the confidentiality of the data or using the data as intended by customer.”
...does this mean you will sell my information?