City of Palo Alto Utilities

Resource Planner

Job Summary


City of Palo Alto Utilities






Full Time





Close Date:



$7,706.40 - $9,461.58 Monthly




Address To:

250 Hamilton Ave.



The Resource Planner, under minimal supervision, performs commodity price and financial forecasting, direct access implementation activities, competitive commodity rate development, resource planning and analysis and management of the Utilities’ portfolio of supply resources. Works with the public, legislative and regulatory agencies and consultants providing direction and information on specific programs and projects.
The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) Department is seeking two staff members in the Resource Management Division. The Resource Management Division is responsible for the long-term planning and management of the City’s commodity portfolios for gas, electric and water; the financial management of the Gas, Electric, Sewer, and Water Funds; and the management of CPAU’s emerging technology/test bed program. The Resource Management Division is relatively small with each staff member being responsible for core duties, but also being assigned to work on a variety of programs and projects. Recent projects include development of the Carbon Neutral Electric Supply Plan, evaluation of an anaerobic digester, development of a feed-in tariff for local solar installations, development of a pilot demand response program, evaluation of water supply alternatives, and the development of smart grid-related pilot projects. The two Resource Planner positions may be assigned to any of the activities in the Resource Management Division, but each will have distinct core functions.
One Resource Planner’s core task will be managing the electric supply portfolio. Tasks include:
  • Evaluating the City’s load and resource requirements;
  • Developing procurement plans;
  • Projecting costs and exposure of the portfolio to market prices and other variables such as hydroelectric generation conditions;
  • Developing the annual electric commodity budget;
  • Implementing the procurement plans by transacting for electric products such as energy, capacity, and other reliability products to meet loads and regulatory requirements; and
  • Assisting in the evaluation and procurement of renewable resources to meet the City’s renewable energy and carbon neutral goals.
The other Resource Planner will work on tasks and programs in the areas of sustainability, smart grid, electric vehicles, and customer energy efficiency solutions. The position will be working closely with CPAU’s Engineering, Operations, and Customer Services Divisions, and other City Departments to implement projects and programs. Tasks include:
  • Assisting with implementation of the smart grid road map and pilot programs;
  • Assisting with sustainability-related programs such as the development of a local solar strategy, implementation of the carbon neutral plan, assessment of the use of carbon offsets, electric vehicle adaptation strategies, etc.;
  • Assisting in the implementation of energy efficiency and demand response programs for utility customers;
  • Managing the review and implementation of project applications received through the Utilities Innovation and Emerging Technology Demonstration, and pursue various grant opportunities to fund projects; and
  • Managing the annual greenhouse gas inventory reporting for the City.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Resource Planner is a classification in the Resource Management Division of the Utilities Department. Incumbents in this classification perform supply resource planning, acquisition and portfolio management assignments on a wide range of projects and serve in project manager capacity as required. This class differs from the higher class of Senior Resource Planner in that the latter may have overall management responsibility for major and/or complex short-term and long-term resource planning projects.
Essential Duties:
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Evaluates the Utilities’ supply resource portfolio and recommends adjustments to match the City’s (and/or customer’s) risk and return preferences.
  • Develops and assists in the implementation of commodity price risk management strategies and programs.
  • Assists in the development of commodity budget forecasts; reviews commodity bills for accuracy and compares to budgeted amounts.
  • Assists in the negotiation and writing of contracts for the purchase and/or sales of electric, gas or water resources with suppliers or buyers as appropriate.
  • Analyzes and prepares reports on legislative and regulatory activities. Prepares testimony to support the City's position at various regulatory arenas.
  • Conducts and prepares reports of wholesale energy products and resource planning studies to yield a portfolio of supply resources to best meet the customers' needs.
  • Assists in maintaining liaison with regional resource planning or supply agencies; serves on agency committees as required; evaluates proposals by other agencies in terms of resource costs, availability and consistency with long-term City financial projections and resource needs, and recommends appropriate courses of action.
  • Keeps abreast of developments in resource planning processes and in supply resources technologies, seeking out new technologies from public or private sources, evaluating new supplies as appropriate.
  • Represents the City on external agencies' task forces and working groups as assigned.
  • Manages consultant contracts, utility resource planning projects, schedule coordination, political liaison, public relations, inter-utility coordination, and quality control.
  • Assists in rate and cost of service studies as required and formulates recommendations for utilities rates.
  • Assists in developing protocols to implement customer choice and direct access.
  • Interfaces with regional and local system operators to ensure economic operation of utility systems.
  • Develops commodity rates to reflect customer preferences and to be competitive with deregulated market rate offerings to all customer classes.



Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:

Bachelor's degree in Engineering, Economics, Mathematics or other related field (Electrical Engineering preferred);
Six years of increasingly responsible experience in utilities resource planning, acquisition and portfolio management (Engineering degree may substitute for two years of experience).
Note: Master's degree in Engineering or other related field and/or registration as a Professional Engineer may be considered in lieu of one year's experience.
Qualifications and skills (for both positions): High degree of quantitative, analytical, and database implementation skills required. Mechanical or Electrical Engineering degree and electric utility industry experience highly desired.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Understanding of forecasting, resource planning, commodity price risk management and commodity price setting techniques.
  • The ability to use complex computer models to perform resource planning, commodity price risk management and price setting studies.
  • Ability to interpret legislative and regulatory mandates impacting utility demand- and supply-side issues.
  • Ability to participate and represent the City in a professional fashion in negotiations and other interactions with customers and external entities.
  • Ability to manage projects, coordinate efforts of others, and prepare professional reports and request for proposals.
  • Ability to do quantitative analysis.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.