Consumer FAQ

Answers to the most common questions we hear.

Industry individuals representing different companies and organizations (such as utilities, regulatory agencies, state government officials, consumer advocates, academia, privacy advocates, industry associations, and third-party innovators) came together in a consensus process to write the code's principles and concepts.

The DataGuard Energy Data Privacy Program is an industry-developed, self-regulated code of conduct for energy data privacy. DOE acted as a convener. DOE does not regulate utilities or other companies in the industry so they are viewed by industry as a neutral party, thereby able to bring together individuals who might not usually work together toward a common goal.

DOE will be the steward of the program for a minimum of two years, meaning that it will manage the DataGuard website, document companies that have adopted the program, and collect adoption commitment letters. After two years, DOE hopes to transfer the stewardship to a private company or industry association.

The concepts and principles in the Voluntary Code of Conduct (the Code) provide participating companies a framework for establishing practices that protect the access, use, and sharing of customer data helping to provide uniformity across the nation.

No, the DataGuard Energy Data Privacy Program is a voluntary program and companies are not required to adopt it. However, it is possible that a public service commission, public utility commission, or state regulatory commission might use DataGuard to inform its privacy regulatory proceedings.

If you believe a company is using the DataGuard logo but is not adhering to the Code of Conduct, please follow the steps in the company's complaint resolution process. If you are unable to resolve the issue directly with them, contact your state's public utility commission or state consumer protection agency. If you are still unable to resolve your issue, you can contact the FTC Compliant Assitance.

DataGuard focuses specifically on Customer Data, which is defined as the combination of customer energy usage data (CEUD) and Account Data. The reason for this is that personally identifiable information (such as social security number, date of birth, etc.) are already regulated by a variety of state and federal laws. DataGuard was developed to address rising concerns around Customer Energy Use Data as a result of new technologies being deployed, and not because of new issues related to personal information.