Smart Meter Privacy Policy

Grid utilisation, grid connection and delivery of electrical energy to end consumers with basic supply.

  • General Data

    We process general personal data about you, such as your name and contact details.

     

  • Financial Data

    We process your financial data.

     

  • Location Data

    We process your location data.

     

  • Provided Data

    We process personal data that you provide to us.

     

  • No Marketing

    We do not use your personal data for marketing and advertising.

     

  • Product Development

    We use your personal data for the development and improvement of products and services.

     

  • Profiling

    We analyse your behaviour and make assumptions about your interests and preferences.

     

  • No Automated Decision-Making

    We do not make significant decisions based on fully automated processing.

     

  • No Data Sale

    We do not sell your personal data.

     

  • Switzerland

    We process your personal data only in Switzerland.

     

This Smart Meter Privacy Policy (SMPP) describes how and for what purposes BKW Energy AG (BKW) collects, processes and uses personal data associated with the use of digital electricity meters (also known as smart meters), and the provision of services relating to grid utilisation, grid connection and the delivery of electrical energy to end consumers with basic supply.

Smart meters measure the consumption of electricity, gas, heat and water at a specific metering point and record the time period of that consumption. In the power supply sector, the use of smart meters is a legal requirement under communal and cantonal service mandates. Smart meters are necessary and essential in fulfilling these mandates and their use does not require the consent of customers. The responsible handling of customer data is important to BKW. Regular reviews and updates to our security measures ensure the protection and security of personal data.

Data protection is a matter of trust and BKW values its customers’ trust. In particular, this SMPP outlines for BKW customers which personal data is collected, processed and used for which purposes, who has access to the personal data, how data processing benefits customers, when personal data is erased, what rights customers have with regard to their own personal data, and whom you can contact at BKW if you have any concerns relating to data protection.

 

BKW is responsible for data processing under this SMPP, unless indicated otherwise on a case-by-case basis. Customers who have concerns relating to the processing of data or data protection can contact the Data Protection Officer in writing (BKW Energie AG, Viktoriaplatz 2, 3013 Bern, Switzerland) or by email ([email protected]) or phone on +41 844 121 113.

BKW processes data exclusively on the basis of applicable law. In particular, data processing is subject to the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP), the Data Protection Ordinance (DPO), the Electricity Supply Act (ESA) and the Electricity Supply Ordinance (ESO). BKW reserves the right to amend this SMPP at any time. The version published on https://www.bkw.ch/en/privacy-policy is always the applicable version.

Personal data is information that can be associated with a specific person. To fulfil its duties as a distribution system operator, BKW collects personal data as well as personality profiles and load profile values of 15 minutes and more in accordance with Article 8d (1) ESO. In this process, personal data is generally collected by the installed smart meters and/or shared directly by customers themselves. In certain cases, the data can be collected from other sources.

In particular, this relates to information BKW receives in the context of legally mandated data interchange with other distribution system operators and market players or in the context of official or judicial proceedings. BKW processes personal data for the following purposes in accordance with this SMPP.

BKW collects personality profiles, pseudonymised personal data and load profile values of 15 minutes and more for the purposes of:

  • measuring, controlling and regulating the distribution system;
  • using tariff systems as well as secure, effective and efficient grid operations;
  • grid balancing and planning;
  • product development and optimisation.

Personality profiles, non-pseudonymised personal data and load profile values of 15 minutes and more for the purposes of:

  • charging for the supply of energy and the grid-use charge;
  • calculating compensation for the use of control and regulation systems;
  • providing consumption figures in the customer centre and elsewhere;
  • offering customers advice on potential optimisations;
  • introducing specific services;
  • billing information and engaged auxiliaries.

As a distribution system operator, BKW expressly forgoes any processing of personal data for services beyond the operation of the grid and metering points.

Employees of BKW have access to the personal data of customers if necessary for the described purposes and for the work of the employees concerned. These employees follow the instructions of BKW, and have been trained in and are bound to confidentiality and non-disclosure in handling personal data. Under this SMPP, BKW may disclose the personal data collected to the following recipients:

  • respective contractual partners;
  • companies of the BKW Group;
  • service providers and business partners;
  • third parties, where BKW is legally obliged or entitled to do so.

Under the ESO, BKW shares personal data collected by smart meters in a pseudonymised or appropriate compressed format with recipients who require the measurement data and smart meter information for the following purposes:

  • grid operations;
  • balance management;
  • energy delivery;
  • calculation of grid-use charges;
  • billing processes in connection with the Energy Act;
  • direct marketing;
  • the use of smart control and regulation systems.

Furthermore, under the ESO, BKW shares data collected by smart meters with parties (such as energy suppliers) who need the data to allocate the measurement data to customers.

BKW only processes personal data in connection with the use of smart meters in Switzerland. If a data transfer abroad should be necessary or required by law in future, customers will be notified in advance.

 

Automated decision-making relates to business-related decisions that are made automatically with no relevant human intervention. They might have legal consequences for or a significant negative impact on customers. No automated decisions are made via smart meters. Data is transferred solely for the purposes defined in section 3 of this SMPP.

 

BKW retains data for as long as the relevant legal requirements or the purposes of the processing require. Therefore, the retention period is aligned with statutory and internal regulations. In this context, BKW takes into account retention obligations and the need to protect its own interests (e.g. to enforce or defend against claims and to maintain IT security). BKW erases or anonymises personal data once the aforementioned purposes of processing have been fulfilled or are no longer relevant, provided that it is no longer subject to a retention obligation. Depending on the legal grounds, the retention period can be more than ten years.

The interests of BKW are considered in documentation and evidence-keeping purposes. It has an interest in being able to document events, interactions and other facts in case of legal claims and inconsistencies. Additionally, retention may be necessary for technical reasons if certain data cannot be separated from other data. In this case, data that is not subject statutory retention obligations may be retained.

BKW implements appropriate human, technical and organisational security measures to preserve the security of data, protect customers from unauthorised or unlawful processing and counter the risk of loss, unintended modification, unwanted disclosure or unauthorised access.

In particular, these security measures include: 

  • data encryption and pseudonymisation;
  • data logging;
  • access restrictions;
  • back-up copies;
  • employee training;
  • regular reviews of security measures.

BKW also obligates the suppliers and service providers it engages to implement appropriate state-of-the-art security measures. Like all companies, BKW is unable to preclude data breaches completely; certain residual risks are unavoidable.

BKW adheres to the data protection guidelines in connection with smart meters as set out in Article 8d (2) ESO. The components of a smart metering system (hardware and software) must meet strict data security requirements. Adherence to these requirements is verified and certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). The transmission of data in BKW's smart metering system is encrypted and pseudonymized, so that it is not possible to draw direct conclusions about the customer at this level.

Customers have various rights in connection with the processing of personal data by BKW. Provided that requirements are met under applicable law, customers and other data subjects have the following rights in particular:

  • right to access information about their own data;
  • right to have inaccurate or incomplete data rectified;
  • right to have their own data erased;
  • right to lodge a complaint about the manner of data processing.

To exercise their rights, customers should contact BKW in writing and provide proof of their identity. This right is subject to statutory requirements and restrictions and so cannot be exercised in every case. In each case, BKW will give notice if exceptions apply. These rights can also be exercised vis-à-vis other entities that work with BKW on their own responsibility.

Customers are free to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority if they have concerns that the processing of their personal data may not be lawful. The supervisory authority in Switzerland is the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC).

BKW processes personal data on the following grounds in particular:

  • compliance with legal regulations, especially its duties as a distribution system operator under Swiss law (especially the ESA and the ESO);
  • performance of a contract or, on request, steps prior to entering into a contract;
  • the consent of the customer, where consent is required;
  • its own legitimate interests (e.g. customer support or defence against legal claims).

An obligation to disclose personal data to BKW arises where this concerns the fulfilment of the statutory basic supply mandate or in the event of a contractual relationship that establishes such an obligation with BKW. Additionally, BKW collects and processes personal data that is necessary or prescribed by law with regard to the establishment and execution of a contractual relationship and the fulfilment of the associated obligations. Otherwise, BKW is unable to conclude or continue the contract in question. If a customer communicates with BKW, the personal data provided for that purpose must be processed.