Senior Financial Economist
Oregon Public Utility Commission - Salem, OR

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The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is seeking a highly qualified candidate to fill the position of Economist 4, Senior Financial Economist

The PUC is the State of Oregon agency responsible for the regulation of investor-owned utilities, regulated water companies, and the telecommunications industry. The PUC serves all Oregonians as the final authority for decisions related to the price and quality of service within these industries.

The Senior Financial Economist 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.

Minimum Qualifications

A Master's degree in economics or a related field and four years experience doing economic research or econometric forecasting;


A Ph.D. in economics or a related field and one-year experience doing economic research.

In addition, we are specifically recruiting for the preferred qualifications below. Applicants who are best able to demonstrate these attributes will be contacted for an interview.

* 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.

In addition to a great work atmosphere, PUC provides excellent employee benefits including a comprehensive health plan, state paid retirement contributions and generous paid leave.

To view the complete job announcement including salary information and application instructions please visit our jobs page at: click on 'Jobs at PUC' and view the job announcement 'PUC13-0006 - Economist 4 (Senior Financial Economist).'

Or you may contact Stacy Wren, Human Resource Analyst directly at (503) 373-1368 (voice), or (503) 373-1413 (TTY). Applications will be accepted until April 12, 2013. PUC is an EEO/AA employer.

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