Economist - Utility and Energy Analyst 3 (Underfill Option)
Oregon Public Utility Commission
Location: Salem, Oregon
Type: Full Time
Salary: 5,754.00 - 8,868.00/month
Join the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) for an opportunity to make a difference in Oregon’s energy regulatory landscape! The PUC is at the forefront of the state’s efforts to create a more sustainable energy future while balancing the provision of safe, reliable, and affordable power.
We are in search of an Economist who will use their expertise to conduct economic analysis on regulated utility operations, capital investment decisions and pricing to retail customers. As an Economist, you will play a key regulatory role in the transformation of the energy sector across the state and the region.
The successful candidate will join the PUC’s Rates, Finance and Audit (RFA) Division, which provides in-depth, holistic economic, financial and mathematical/statistical analysis on the regulation, practices, and programs of six, investor-owned, economically-regulated utilities.
In this role, you will utilize your technical and collaborative skills working with other industry experts to develop and formulate recommendations on energy issues. You will provide expertise on a range of market-oriented issues, such as competition, choice, and the alignment of utility incentives with the public interest.
If you are seeking a rewarding employment opportunity that harnesses and grows your skills and talents, positively shapes energy policy, and impacts the public good while collaborating with a team of dedicated professionals in a collegial work environment, the PUC could be your next exciting career. Apply now!
The goal of this recruitment is to fill the position at the Utility and Energy Analyst 3 (UA3) level. However, we encourage candidates who meet the minimum qualifications for the Utility and Energy Analyst 2 (UA2) (listed below) to apply as we may consider underfilling the positions for up to 36 months. If successful, underfill candidates will be paid at the UA2 salary range of $4,763 - $7,303 monthly and must meet the qualifications for the UA3 within 36 months of being hired.
Celebrating over 100 years of history, the work of the PUC impacts nearly every household throughout the state. The PUC is responsible for just and reasonable pricing by the Oregon's investor-owned electric, natural gas, and telephone utilities, as well as select water companies via economic regulation. The PUC also enforces electric and natural gas safety standards and handles utility-related dispute resolution on behalf of Oregon residents. We play an integral part in creating and maintaining a fair and transparent regulatory environment that ensures safe, reliable, and efficient utility services at fair and reasonable rates for consumers. The PUC has stable funding through an assessment levied on the regulated natural gas, electric, telecommunication, and water utilities.
The agency’s mission is to ensure Oregon utility customers have access to safe, reliable, and high quality utility services at just and reasonable rates. This is done through robust analysis and independent decision-making conducted in an open and fair quasi-judicial hearings process.
The PUC offices are located in downtown Salem, in close proximity to the State Capitol, and PUC maintains a Portland satellite office. With supervisor approval, employees living in the Portland metro area may be granted flexibility to work at home, or on-site at the satellite office with weekly travel to Salem for meetings and other Commission proceedings. (NOTE: Per direction from Governor Kate Brown, currently, nearly all PUC employees have been working remotely to assist in reducing COVID-19 in Oregon. The PUC is continuing to evaluate business and workplace needs for future remote, hybrid, and onsite work. The PUC will also follow future statewide guidance from the Governor and public health professionals.)
The PUC prides itself in being a great place to work, learn, and grow professionally. As a State of Oregon agency, we offer:
Benefit plans that pay up to 99 percent of the premium for health-related coverage of employees and dependents
Membership in the Public Employee Retirement System retirement plan
Eleven (11) paid holidays per year; 24 hours of personal leave per year; vacation leave earned at a minimum rate of 8 hours per month and sick leave earned at a rate of 8 hours per month; and many other benefits.
More information about the Oregon Public Utility Commission can be found online at: www.oregon.gov/PUC
What You Will Do as Economist:
Conduct a wide range of applied economic research and modeling concerning the rate spread (allocation of total revenues across different types of customers—residential, commercial and industrial), rate design, pricing of services between affiliated companies, forecasting of power production costs, and emerging policy issues that may arise in this time of transition in the energy industry.
The Economist leads multi-disciplinary staff to develop recommendations for Commission action primarily focused on:
Review and analyze long-run incremental cost studies in the supply of natural gas and electricity including the generation, transmission and distribution functions;
Develop and defend recommendations for appropriate pricing structures for various types of retail customer for which the utility incurs different costs to serve;
Review forecasts and develop alternative forecasts of utility electric power production costs;
Review recorded utility electric power production costs for prudence; and
Review and develop pricing frameworks for transactions between the regulated utility and non-regulated affiliates.
Specifically this job will:
Serve as a technical and policy expert on diverse regulatory matters related to utility economics and rate recovery, regulatory policy, accounting, financial analysis, operations, and power systems engineering principles;
Evaluate the appropriateness of various statistical modelling techniques and analyze issues using various complex statistical, financial, and econometric models;
Lead or participate in teams conducting rulemakings, contested cases, rate reviews, and other complex investigations, identify necessary data and request information from utilities, develop recommendations consistent with agency policies and statutes and proposals for settlement regarding areas of responsibility;
Facilitate stakeholder engagement processes that broaden participation, inclusion, and diverse perspectives in regulatory and policy decisions; and,
Communicate findings and recommendations through clear, concise, and well written testimony, comments, memos, and whitepapers.
What’s in it for you:
Play a crucial role in shaping Oregon’s energy landscape, protecting Oregon ratepayers, while balancing the competing demands of industry and stakeholders.
Work with professionals who are passionate about economics, public policy, and finance in public service.
Build upon your skills to become an industry expert.
What you need to qualify:
Utility and Energy Analyst 3 Minimum Qualifications:
Salary: $5,754.00 - $8,868.00/month
A Bachelor's degree in Economics, Finance, Public Policy, Engineering, Natural or Environmental Science or a closely-related field and four years of professional-level work experience in economic analysis, finance, or public policy analysis.
Seven years of work experience in economic analysis, finance, or public policy analysis; four of which must be at the professional-level.
A Master's degree in Economics, Finance, Public Policy, Engineering, Natural or Environmental Science or closely-related field will substitute for one year of the professional-level work experience.
A Juris Doctorate or a doctoral degree in Economics, Finance, Natural or Environmental Science, or a closely-related field will substitute for two years of the professional-level work experience.
Utility and Energy Analyst 2 / Underfill Option, Minimum Qualifications:
Salary: $4,763 - $7,303/month
A Bachelor's degree in Economics, Finance, Public Policy, Engineering, Natural or Environmental Science or a closely-related field and two years of professional-level work experience in economic analysis, finance, or public policy analysis.
Five years of work experience in economic analysis, finance, or public policy analysis; two of which must be at the professional-level.
A Juris Doctorate or a Doctorate or Master's degree in Economics, Finance, Public Policy, Engineering, Natural or Environmental Science or a closely-related field will substitute for one year of the professional-level work experience.
The most competitive candidates will possess the following requested skills:
(Note: You do not need to have education or work experience related to all of the following requested skills to be considered for this position.)
Graduate degree in economics or closely-related field.
Work experience utilizing analytical skills to conduct advanced economic research.
Work experience utilizing econometric, mathematical, or optimization models and developing creative analytical approaches to solve new problems.
Work experience that demonstrates the ability to quickly develop a detailed understanding of complex policy and technical concepts and communicate them clearly to general audiences.
Work experience and/or graduate-level education that demonstrates specific expertise in energy policy.
Work experience and/or graduate-level education that supports an understanding of regulatory economics, power system engineering, statistics, and econometrics.
Work experience that demonstrates the ability to develop clear, concise written recommendations based on economic and policy analysis.
Work experience that demonstrates the ability to provide clear and persuasive presentations to decision makers.
Work experience that demonstrates the ability to coordinate multiple projects and priorities at the same time.