Electricity Retailers have to Comply with PDPA

12 Jan 2019

We thank Mr Sim Eng Cheong for his letter (Ensure electricity suppliers' registration complies with PDPA; Dec 31, 2018).

Electricity retailers are required to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) when handling the personal data of their customers.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has reminded all electricity retailers, including Senoko Energy, to ensure compliance with the PDPA.

In addition, electricity retailers are required to conduct fair marketing and contracting practices in accordance with EMA's Code of Conduct for Retail Electricity Licensees.

Ms Dorcas Tan
Market Development & Surveillance Department
Energy Market Authority

Ensure electricity suppliers' registration complies with PDPA - Sim Eng Cheong (The Straits Times)
31 Dec 2018

Recently, I decided to make the switch to Senoko Energy as my electricity retailer.

However, when I reached the registration page, I realised that it is compulsory for new customers to consent to Senoko handling their personal details not only for operational matters related to the new account, but also for it to share the information with third-party agents for marketing purposes.

This clearly violates the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which states that organisations cannot refuse to provide a service to an individual who objects to the collection, use or disclosure of personal data for marketing purposes, unless it is reasonable to do so.
Senoko should explain how giving consent to it and its agents for marketing purposes is reasonable for a person who wants only to switch to a cheaper electricity supplier.

Senoko should emulate Sembcorp Power, which has separate check boxes for customers to give consent for using their information for operational matters, which is compulsory, and marketing purposes, which is not.

As the governing body, the Energy Market Authority should also instruct all players to incorporate the PDPA into their contracts and ensure their websites do not contravene the Act.

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