Full-Time Utilities Program Services Manager
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 portfolios and an award-winning solar program. CPAU 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 mission of Utilities Program Services is to help customers lower their bills, use energy and water more efficiently, and reduce their carbon footprint, in addition to fulfilling utility legislative mandates. The group is responsible for promoting a wide range of innovative utility programs, ranging from energy- and water-efficiency programs to carbon-reduction programs promoting electric vehicle charging equipment or building electrification. The group promotes highly effective energy efficiency programs to both homes and businesses, and engages in a wide range of education and outreach programs throughout the community. Customer care is a top priority, with a highly-rated Key Account program that provides services to the community’s business customers and regular surveys that ensure the utility is serving all its customers effectively. The group operates with the support of a progressive and innovative community with ambitious sustainability goals as embodied in its Sustainability and Climate Action Plan. The group is well-resourced, with four FTE of program management staff, three FTE of business key account staff, and support staff. Funding for programs includes $3.7M per year from a Public Benefits surcharge, approximately $1.5M per year from Low Carbon Fuel Standard funds for electric vehicle programs, and occasional grant funding. Additional resources are being considered to expand building electrification programs.
CPAU is seeking a candidate with the vision and management skills to guide Utility Program Services in an environment of rapid change within the utility industry. Traditional energy efficiency, while still critical, is now competing with community interest in reducing carbon in vehicles and buildings, interest in on-site generation and storage for resiliency, and the growing need to introduce more flexibility into the utility’s loads to manage the variability of the grid’s growing renewable fleet. We are seeking a leader capable of helping the community achieve its goals by developing effective relationships and partnerships both inside and outside the organization and guiding the team in creation of ambitious but achievable work plans. Strong management skills are critical. The ideal candidate should also have experience in creating and implementing customer-focused programs related to energy and/or sustainability as well as experience in marketing and communications. While analytical support for program strategy and design is provided by the Resource Planning team, some understanding of the analytical tools used to develop utility programs is preferred (e.g. cost-effectiveness evaluations). Knowledge and understanding of industry trends in utility energy efficiency and/or energy technologies like electric vehicles, solar systems, energy storage, and demand response is also important.
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Leads a team that develops and implements programs to promote community goals and objectives related to energy efficiency, water efficiency, and sustainability and carbon reduction within the City of Palo Alto.
- Supervises the residential, commercial, institutional, industrial and Key Customer programs.
- Directs the daily activities of professionals and technical staff (plus agency or temporary staff) in the development, implementation, and operation of programs to market the Utilities’ services and to promote the efficient use of supply resources.
- Prepares and submits proposals appropriate to obtain grants and/or other funds to promote efficient resource use of utilities customers.
- Coordinates with partners and regulatory agencies in delivery of programs, including regional utilities and community choice energy providers (CCEs), industry groups and JPAs, local nonprofits, and local, state, and federal water and energy agencies.
- Coordinates with Utilities Communications to promote public awareness of the role of Utilities in the community and services available.
- Develops policy recommendations and makes presentations to the City of Palo Alto Utilities Advisory Commission and City Council.
Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:
EDUCATION: Possession of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, economics, business, marketing or a closely-related field from an accredited college or university. and
EXPERIENCE: Eight years of related experience in a utility or business organization including project management, public affairs, marketing and supervision.
Note: A Master’s degree in business, marketing or other related field is highly desirable
- Valid California driver’s license.