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Privacy notice: Energy Company Obligation (ECO3)


The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a central Government energy efficiency initiative that obligates licenced Energy Suppliers to provide funding and promote and install energy saving measures to UK households that are at risk of, or are in, fuel poverty.  The current phase of ECO is ECO3 and 25% of the overall obligation allows local Councils to access funding by setting their own flexible eligibility criteria (ECO Flex) outside of the standard ECO3 Help to Heat group. 

South Tyneside Council (STC) intends to utilise the Energy Company Flexible Eligibility Criteria (ECO Flex), for the purposes of reducing levels of cold-related ill health and fuel poverty in South Tyneside.

In order for you to access the installation of energy saving measures, your personal details will be required and it will be necessary to share that information with other organisations.

The information that we collect will only be used in line with the ECO3 scheme and in accordance with the data protection principles set out in law.

This privacy notice only covers the processing of information by STC relating to ECO under the current ECO3, and tells you how we will handle your personal information.

1. What information do we collect about you?

  • Contact details, name, address, telephone number(s) and email address (so that STC and/or  the ECO Company can make contact to discuss eligibility and the next steps)
  • Tenure of the property, i.e., owner occupied or rented - if rented, the Landlord's contact details will be obtained (required in order to obtain permission should any work to the property be recommended).
  • Property type, construction, age of property, insulation levels (if known), heating type and condition
  • Household member(s) who receive benefits, and what those benefits are, date of birth of  the eldest member of the household over 65, or date of birth of youngest child under 16, if they permanently reside with the applicant, or whether a member of the household is pregnant.
  • Vulnerability group, (i.e. Fuel Poor, low income, health or age qualifier) to which the individual household belongs.
  • Household income details to determine whether household income is less than £32,000.
  • Confirmation of whether you or a household member suffers from a long term health condition exacerbated by living in a cold home together with details of that condition.
  • Details of how data subjects found out about the scheme, to determine the best routes for scheme promotion and those organisations which are proactively promoting the scheme
  • Recommended measures to be undertaken to the Data Subject's property by the ECO Company
  • ECO Flex Scheme progress, repair events, measures installations relating to the Data Subject's property

Other than your contact details, the provision of all of this information to South Tyneside Council is voluntary. The relevant information you provide will be forwarded to the ECO Company in order that they can carry out ECO3 eligibility checking and property survey.  However, if you do not provide the ECO Company with all of the necessary information required then your ECO3 application will not progress.   Should this be the case you may withdraw your permission for STC to use your data at any time.

3. How do we collect information about you?

We will collect your information; if you

  • make enquiries about ECO and contact us by telephone, in person or email STC direct;
  • contact us in relation to information requests and complaints;
  • complete an online form via our website;
  • engage with us when we carry out our regulatory and administrative functions;
  • engage with an ECO Company
  • Make contact via a third-party organisation to request advice or assistance and they refer you to STC or the ECO Company for help.

4. Who has access to your data?

STC are joint controllers along with the ECO Company for the processing of any personal information in relation to ECO3.  Information collected that shows you may be eligible is shared with the ECO Company.  The ECO Company will manage your application and process your data as necessary to confirm your eligibility for ECO3. The ECO Company will themselves comply with the legal obligations under the ECO legislation and will act in accordance with relevant Data Protection Policy.

5. Special Category Data

STC recognises the significance of special category data and will only process such data if certain conditions are met. These conditions are outlined in guidance from the UK Information Commissioner's Office.

STC may ask you or a health professional to declare some health conditions that are exacerbated by living in a cold home; these may fall within the definition of special category data. If this data is provided, STC will only use this information to confirm eligibility for ECO Flex, under the Health Conditions criteria, with the ECO Company.  This data will not be used for any other purpose and will be kept in strict confidence.

Should it be necessary to disclose any other special category data, i.e. in relation to exceptional circumstances, then prior explicit consent will be obtained from you.

6. Why do we collect your information and how will we use it

We only collect information that we need in order to carry out our functions in relation to ECO3, so that we may:

  • Check eligibility;
  • administer and monitor the scheme;
  • help us avoid and identify fraud;
  • review how well the scheme is working, to help inform future planning.

STC does not use your information:

  • to make automatic decisions,
  • for profiling, i.e. automated processing of personal data to evaluate certain things about an individual.
  • for marketing purposes

Information that is used for reporting or monitoring is anonymised to prevent identification and to protect your confidentiality.

We will only disclose your personal information in the following circumstances:

  • Sharing with an ECO Company to confirm whether you are entitled to ECO3 or ECO Flex and as necessary for the purposes of the administration of ECO3;
  • With the property owner, where their consent is required to carry out ECO3 or ECO Flex works to the property
  • where you give us explicit consent to disclose it;
  • where the disclosure is required by law, statutory direction, court orders, or  processing and sharing information with auditors during audits;

7. How is your information held?

South Tyneside Council takes your privacy, and the safety and security of your information, very seriously.

Information is held by South Tyneside Council in both paper, or non-computerised format and electronic, or computerised, format.

  • Paper-based, non-computerised, information is stored securely within access-controlled storage, and is only processed by staff with a need to do so.
  • Electronic, computerised, information is stored securely on servers managed by STC.

STC has security procedures and an Information Security Policy to ensure that data is handled appropriately and protected from accidental loss or misuse and seeks to comply and align its policies with all parts of the Information Security Standards ISO 27001/27002.

8. Who do we share your personal information with?

STC may share information relevant to the installation of measures in your home;

  • The ECO Company;
  • The property owner;
  • Anyone else where there is a requirement in law, or we have your prior consent.

9. The Lawful Basis on which we process your information

We process your personal information by Consent as set out under Article (6)(1)(a) of the GDPR and Article (9)(2)(a) Consent (for special category data). STC only obtain your information by Consent for the purpose of ECO3 and your explicit consent for health information under ECO Flex.

Under Article (6)(1)(e) Public Task and Article 9(2)(g) Public Interest,  the Council is processing data that has a lawful basis set out in Energy Legislation and which the Council believes will result in better thermal quality of housing, and economic and health benefits for borough residents.        

10. How long do we keep your information?

We keep your personal data only as long as is necessary to conclude the purpose(s) for which it was collected and in accordance with our retention schedules.  Your information will be held for no longer than 3 years after the ending of the ECO3 scheme, unless there are exceptional circumstances which require STC to retain it for a longer period of time. You will be informed if this becomes necessary.

Data will be securely destroyed when no longer required.

11. Access to information and correction

You have the right to:

  • Be informed about the data we hold about you.
  • Access the information we hold about you.
  • Have your personal information corrected if it is incomplete or inaccurate.
  • Ask us to restrict how we process your information.
  • Object to certain ways we use your information.

12. Changes to our Privacy Policy

We will regularly review privacy notices and these can be found on the Council website.  This privacy notice was last reviewed in December 2020.

13. How to contact us

If you have concerns about the way we are collecting, using and/or processing your personal data and you would like to request further information in relation to exercising any of your rights and/or request information about STC's ECO Local Authority Flexible Eligibility privacy policy, or if you wish to raise the following:

  • an FOI or EIR request;
  • a complaint about Data processing;
  • or make a Subject Access Request;

Please contact:

The Domestic Energy Efficiency Team on 0191 4247902 or email ; or

Information Governance Team on 0191 424 6539 or email

Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office at

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