Your privacy is our priority

Your privacy is
our priority


Energysense collects many different kinds of data; data concerning your energy consumption, via smart meters or the meter readings you provide, and data about your opinions and about your household (what you fill in in the questionnaires). When combined, these datasets are the basis for a rich understanding of the factors at play in how energy is consumed, and in what volume. This information is crucial to work towards  affordable, available and sustainable energy in the future. The composition of the different kinds of data shapes Energysense as a unique source for research and innovation. It also makes it imperative to gather and protect the data in such a way that the privacy of our participants is guaranteed.




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Secure and carefully organised

Energysense stores the data within the University of Groningen and thereby guarantees the highest levels of security. All data is carefully collected and stored in such a way that no one can access the data without explicit consent. The names and identity of participants will remain anonymous within Energysense. It’s simple: we won’t share your name and address with anyone. Prior to giving consent for data access, requests are reviewed by Energysense.

Data collection

All the smart meter data will be collected by an Independent Service Provider, in Dutch this is an Onafhankelijke Dienst Aanbieder (ODA). These ODAs have specific permission to collect the data and are completely independent from energy suppliers. The ODA will only transfer the data to Energysense, after you have given explicit consent to Energysense to do so.

Compliant with the Personal Data Protection Act and ‘privacy-by-design’

Energysense records and secures personal data in compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act (WBP). At Energysense, we are commited to thoroughly assessing how privacy is guaranteed during any operation, or any set of operations concerning personal data. We consider organizational, technical, and procedural aspects. This approach is called ‘privacy-by-design’— privacy is a concern at every step, not just added on later. We have the necessary expertise in our team: a legal advisor, a data manager and a Security Officer of the Centre for Information Technology of the University of Groningen. We also seek advice from excellent researchers in the area of ICT and privacy.

Personal data

Energysense only processes the personal data necessary for research and innovation activities. The research and new knowledge that emerges from Energysense goes beyond mere insights about your energy use, i.e. quantitative data. Energysense focuses on understanding of patterns of change in attitudes, behaviour and energy use in the context of a large population of households. That’s why we ask you to participate in interviews and surveys and collect qualitative data.

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Who can use the data?

Energysense can share your data with partners, for example researchers at universities and companies. The data remains anonymous and will not be traceable to you. Every data access request will be carefully prepared by the applicants that have to fill out a detailed form. The request will be evaluated by a review board appointed by the Board of Directors of Energysense. If it is approved by the board, the partner will sign an agreement that states what he or she is allowed to do with the data. The partner is never allowed to pass the data on to a third party or disseminate the data. Only after the access is granted will the applicant receive a specific dataset.
The partners are only allowed to work with the data according to what has been set in the prior agreement. They must also comply with confidentiality measures and take the appropriate technical and organizational measures for data protection. The universities and service providers working with Energysense can be located all around the world. Energysense may also be required (by law) to provide your personal information to government agencies or regulators. The data collected by Energysense will not be passed on to your energy supplier.

The term under which data will be stored

Energysense does not store your data for any longer than necessary for achieving the purposes for which it was collected.


Appropriate technical and organizational measures are taken by Energysense to protect your personal data against abuse, loss, alteration, destruction, unauthorized access or disclosure or otherwise unlawful processing of your personal data. This will involve continuously weightings risks, costs and (technical) possibilities.

No profit from data

Energysense does not sell your data. Energysense asks partners and researchers to pay a contribution for the use of a dataset. These contributions will be used for the continuation of Energysense.

Access and amend your data

You have the right to ask Energysense in writing to give you an overview of your personal data that is being processed. If you believe that your personal details are incorrect or if you wish to withdraw permission for the processing of this data, you can ask Energysense to modify this data or to stop processing your personal data.
Within four weeks you will receive a response from Energysense, stating how Energysense will meet your request to modify data.
The permission you granted to process your personal data is revocable. If you no longer wish to participate in this study, you can terminate your participation by communicating this wish to Energysense.
Your request can be submitted via the addresses below. To ensure that the application is made by the right person, we may request that you confirm you identity before your request is processed.



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Changes in privacy policy

Energysense can change or develop its privacy policy. The reasons for this lie with changing technologies and regulation and with new possibilities that may follow from these changes. Energysense will inform you of any changes prior to their application.