The City of Palo Alto has provided a full range of utility services (electric, gas, water, and sewer) for over 100 years, and is one of the only publicly-owned gas utilities in the State of California. City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) has been on the forefront of sustainability, with 100% carbon neutral electric and gas portfolio goals and an award winning solar program and is working to address long term business planning challenges related to sustainability and the long-term need to maintain safety, reliability, and reasonable rates.
The Rates and Analytics Group within the Resource Management Division has a key role in helping CPAU meet these challenges. The Rates and Analytics Group consists of a Senior Resource Planner and one to three Resource Planners. The group is responsible for:•The rate design for the electric, gas, water, sewer, and fiber utilities,
• Forecasting electric, gas, and water consumption
• Financial forecasting for electric, gas, water, and sewer utilities;
• Back office activities for the City’s electric, gas, and water supply portfolios (such as financial settlements, portfolio performance reporting, and compliance reporting);
• Sales data analysis; and
• Coordinating with customer service and administrative departments on financial management and billing.
CPAU is seeking two Resource Planners to join this group to address the Rates and Sales Analysis function and the Back Office Portfolio Management function.
Resource Planner is a classification used throughout the Resource Management Division of the Utilities Department. Resource Planners in the Rates and Analytics group, under minimal supervision, perform commodity rate development, load and financial forecasting, and back office portfolio management. Other functions of Resource Planners in other parts of the Resource Management Division include commodity price forecasting, supply resource planning and analysis, acquisition and portfolio management assignments, and management of the Utilities’ portfolio of supply and demand-side resources on a wide range of projects and serve in project manager capacity as required. Resource Planners work with staff from other City departments and municipal utilities, the public, legislative and regulatory agencies, and consultants to provide direction and information on specific programs and projects.
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
The primary duties of these Resource Planners will be the Rates and Sales Analysis and/or Back Office functions, but as time is available people in these positions may work on other projects related to supply planning or other programs of the Resource Management Division.
Rates and Sales Analysis Function
In the Rates and Sales Analysis role a Resource Planner is expected to develop a strong understanding of good rate design practices for electric, gas, water, and sewer utilities, sufficient understanding of these businesses to engage in load and financial forecasting, and to effectively analyze and present customer and sales data. The essential duties include:•Utility Financial Forecasting and Ratemaking: Assists in rate and cost of service studies as required and formulates recommendations for utilities rates, which includes performing long-range financial planning, new rate structure development, detailed cost of service studies, and utility reserve analysis and policies. Develops utility rates to reflect cost of service to all customer classes.
• Load Forecasting: Collecting and ensuring quality of data for forecasts and assessing consumption patterns; preparing end-use and/or other forecast models analyzing projected short- and long-term electric, gas, and water utility consumption.
• Sales Data Analysis and Marketing Analysis: Performing research and interpreting utilities data, including sales data, and load data. Gathering data from various sources, including the utilities billing systems and other meter data management systems.
• Managing Rates/Forecasting Systems: Ensure proper operation of the spreadsheet models, databases, forecasting software, and other systems supporting ratemaking, forecasting, and sales analysis, on your own or with support of a business analyst or outside consultant, depending on the application.
Back Office Portfolio Management Function
Expected to develop strong understanding of electricity and gas markets, and electric, gas, and water supply planning and contracting to be able to identify settlement errors, recommend portfolio management performance improvements, and ensure accurate compliance reporting. A solid understanding of data management and the ability to acquire, manage, sort, query, analyze, and display data is critical. The essential duties include:•Commodity Settlements: Assists in the development of commodity budget forecasts; reviews complex commodity bills for accuracy and compares to budgeted amounts.
• Portfolio Performance Data Analysis: Conducts and prepares reports of performance of the City’s portfolio of supply and demand-side resources to assist with portfolio decisions to best meet the customers’ needs. Performing research and interpreting settlements data, and market operations and generation performance data.
• Risk Management: Ensures accurate recording of electric and gas market purchases and adherence to purchasing authorities.
• Compliance Reporting: Reporting to various regulatory agencies to comply with electric-, gas-, and water-related compliance reporting requirements.
• Managing Settlement Systems: Ensure proper operation of the spreadsheets, databases, and other systems supporting financial settlement and portfolio performance reporting and analysis, on your own or with support of a business analyst or outside consultant, depending on the application.