Economist 4 (Senior Financial Economist)
Public Utility Commission - Salem, OR

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The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is responsible for regulating investor-owned utilities, privately-owned water companies, and the telephone industry. PUC’s mission is to ensure that safe and reliable utility services are provided to customers at just and reasonable rates while fostering the use of competitive markets to achieve these objectives. PUC is seeking a highly qualified candidate to fill one full-time vacancy in the Utility Program, Energy Division, Rates, Finance and Audit Section. This position is classified, non-represented and is not eligible for overtime. The PUC is funded through fees paid by the utilities we regulate.

This recruitment will be used to establish a list of qualified candidates; this list will be used to fill the current vacancy and may be used to fill other vacancies as they occur.

Duties & Responsibilities:
The person in this position formulates regulatory policy and conducts highly technical and complex research on matters such as electric and natural gas utility rate spread, rate design, economic costs of providing service, financial analysis, and performs a major active role in the review of energy utility mergers, acquisitions and property sales, as well as the review of complex regulatory matters such as decoupling and power cost sharing mechanisms. Major duties include: • Conducts complex and technical economic studies related, but not limited to reviews of: (a) energy utility mergers; (b) complex utility property sales, especially those involving generation assets; (c) regulatory mechanisms designed to break the link between a utility’s sales levels and its profits; (d) electric and natural gas utilities’ cost-sharing mechanisms; (e) the level of competition for identified services and the extent to which a market participant represents market power. • Lead a staff team, as well on occasion independently, research and evaluate electric and natural gas utility estimates of the marginal cost of providing utility services across a varied set of classes of customers; develop alternative marginal cost estimates; independently conduct economic research on emerging utility rate matters designed to engender efficient use of energy. • Advise other staff witnesses about the appropriate use of cost of capital estimates in rate case adjustments, in calculating interest on deferred account balances, and in annual reviews of utility earnings. • Oversee the development and enhancement of staff’s discounted cash flow (DCF) models, dividend capitalization models, and other alternative models such as capital asset pricing models (CAPM), index models, and multifactor models to estimate a utility’s cost of equity. Use these economic models to estimate the cost of equity for electric and natural gas utilities. Also calculate the costs of long-term debt and preferred securities; the weighted average cost of capital; and determine a related capital structure for electric and natural gas utilities. • Plan and manage research studies to determine the relationships between economic and demographic factors and individual energy utilities’ cost of equity, cost of long-term debt, and cost of preferred securities. • Identify, obtain, analyze and interpret economic and capital market information; develop research methodologies; and exercise professional judgment in selecting statistical procedures and software packages. Initiate and execute the research design; prepare complex spreadsheet-based analyses; develop sound recommendations based on the analyses; and bring research studies to meaningful conclusions. Clearly and concisely present research results and policy recommendations to the Commission and other policy makers. • Lead and direct other Energy Division staff assigned to economic research projects including planning, monitoring, and coordinating the work of utility analysts. Ensure that research projects result in meaningful conclusions. Evaluate studies and testimony completed by other witnesses. Ensure that studies appropriately apply the principles and theories of financial and regulatory economics. • Represent the Commission by speaking at regional, state, and national economic conferences. Exchange information on major utility issues with industry experts and analysts at other state commissions.
WORKING CONDITIONS Work is generally performed in a standard office environment, with frequent use of a computer. On occasion will present testimony under adversarial conditions in administrative hearings. Prepares testimony and recommendations under strict time constraints. Employee works a professional work week which may entail work during evening or irregular hours. Must be able to lift and carry up to 25 pounds. Occasional travel including both overnight and extended travel, for purposes of attending meetings, workshops, training classes, seminars, and conferences may be necessary. May be expected to drive on State business and so must have a valid driver's license and maintain an acceptable driving record, or provide an alternate reasonable method of transportation.

Qualifications & Desired Attributes:
Minimum Qualifications A Master’s degree in economics or a related field and four years experience doing economic research or econometric forecasting; OR A Ph.D. in economics or a related field and one-year experience doing economic research. **You must attach your transcripts to your electronic application at time of submission.

Desired Attributes • Master’s or Ph.D. degree in economics, finance, or business administration that includes a focus in financial economics, operations research or risk management. • Professional level work experience with an electric or natural gas utility, or a state public utility commission. • Professional level work experience developing written comments and recommendations intended to inform or influence the decision making of a public agency. • Professional level work experience analyzing or designing electric or natural gas utility rates. • Knowledge of electric or natural gas utility marginal cost to supply service by class of customers. • Work experience or graduate level coursework focusing on the investor return required for a business to attract capital.

Additional Information:
1) Follow the “Apply” link above to complete the State of Oregon employment application online. Your application must clearly show how you meet the “Minimum Qualifications” for this position. Be sure to complete the following sections: “Work Experience” and “Education.” The “Work Experience” section must include the specific position(s) you have held, organizations for which you have worked, complete dates of your employment (month and year), and a detailed description of your duties and level of responsibility. A resume is not required to apply for this position and it will not be considered.
2) Attach your transcripts . To demonstrate you possess the identified educational requirements, you MUST attach your transcripts to your online application . Transcripts must be from an accredited institution and clearly show your name, coursework completed with a passing grade, degree received, and institution name.
The PUC will consider only complete applications submitted online by the closing date/time posted on this announcement. All requested supplemental information (i.e. transcripts) MUST be submitted as an attachment to the online application. The PUC does not accept paper applications, email applications or supplemental information/attachments not submitted as an attachment to the online application. The PUC will provide updates to candidates regarding the status of their application via email only. Minimum Qualifications will be determined based on: 1) Information provided in the “Work Experience” and “Education” sections of your application. If your description in the “Work Experience” section is too brief and/or insufficient to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position your application will not be accepted. 2) Transcripts demonstrating your graduation from an accredited school with a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. in economics or a related field. Transcripts must be from an accredited institution and clearly show your name, coursework completed with a passing grade, degree received, and institution name. Transcripts must be attached to your online application, transcripts not submitted as an electronic attachment to the online application will not be accepted or considered. Candidates who meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position and whose work experience most closely matches the desired attributes of this position will be invited to an interview. If you require an alternate format in order to complete the employment process, please call PUC Human Resources at (503) 373-7949 or (503) 373-1413 (TTY) Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM (PST). The pay and benefits on all announcements may change without notice. Due to budgetary shortfalls, the individual appointed to this position will be required to take unpaid furlough days between now and June 30, 2013. If you are hired, you may be required to provide facts about past employment and present financial interests if they could be connected with the businesses regulated by the PUC.
VETERANS’ PREFERENCE Eligible veterans’ who meet the minimum qualifications of the position will be given veterans’ preference. To receive preference you MUST attach to your electronic application the following documentation:
Veteran • A copy of your DD214 or DD215; OR • A letter from the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs indicating you receive a non-service connected pension.
Disabled Veteran • A copy of your DD214 or DD215; AND • A copy of your veterans’ disability preference letter from the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Additional information on veterans’ preference in employment may be obtained from the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs website at: or by calling 1-800-692-9666.

The State of Oregon is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer Committed to Workforce Diversity.

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