This class performs administrative and technical work in the planning and recommending of policy direction on regulatory and legislative matters before the Delaware Public Service Commission. The incumbent also provides guidance and training to professional technical staff on a broad range of regulatory issues.
Nature and Scope
An incumbent reports to an administrative superior and is involved in complex research and analysis of regulated public utility issues and the economic impact on policy and rate determination. Work involves preparing reports, studies or forecasts on major and significant utility issues using statistical and economic analysis techniques. The incumbent serves as a technical expert in utility regulation and testifies on matters before the Public Service Commission. Frequent contact with professionals in the Commission, utilities and State and federal agencies obtain information about a wide variety of economic, energy conservation, environmental protection and integrated resource planning issues is a significant aspect of the job. This class also plans, directs and assigns responsibilities as a team leader in coordinating assigned audits of major utility companies.
Essential functions are fundamental, core functions common to all positions in the class series and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class. Since class specifications are descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents can complete job duties of similar kind not specifically listed here.
Performs research assignments by gathering and evaluating data. Recommends the development of policy regulations. Prepares complex economic reports relating to supply-side and demand-side management for use in developing rates and policy.
Conducts and prepares studies, forecasts and research reports on a variety of energy, water, environmental impact and economic impact issues. Conducts research and/or answers questions from the National Regulatory Research Institute, other state commissions, attorneys, utilities and the public.
Performs economic analysis of assigned utility dockets in all aspects of regulated public utilities. Presents written recommendations/or testimony to the Public Service Commission. Oversees the drafting of commission orders to ensure that the proposed orders do not undermine or conflict with sound costing principles, sound cost recovery mechanism and prevailing cost and pricing methodologies of a particular industry.
Reviews technical industry reports, academic journals and other research literature to aid in the preparation of reports and to acquire background knowledge about technical energy and utility issues.
Analyzes, evaluates and makes recommendation in the areas of depreciation studies, weather normalization, integrated resource planning and demand side management and alternative forms of regulation for short-term and long-term planning for the public's interest.
Confers with companies on disagreements on economic issues between staff findings and utilities positions and variances in periodic reports. Makes appropriate recommendations to resolve.
Gives sworn testimony at public hearings before Hearing Examiners and utility personnel. Defends position during cross examinations.
Serves as team leader for assigned cases. Plans, schedules, assigns, monitors and reviews work of staff analysts and coordinates the activities of the staff attorney, engineer and consultants for case preparation. Conducts analysis of complex records in major utility rate cases and performs complex task of rate design.
Assists the staff analysts, staff attorney and hearing officers, as necessary, with details involving activities such as case preparation, verifications of economic conclusions in recommendations, and review and evaluation of accuracy of testimony of consultant witnesses and staff. Trains lower level analysts in economic evaluations.
Advises utility companies of applicable laws, regulations and directives.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The intent of the listed knowledge, skills and abilities is to give a general indication of the core requirements for all positions in the class series; therefore, the KSA’s listed are not exhaustive or necessarily inclusive of the requirements of every position in the class.
Knowledge of economic principles and theories.
Knowledge of Commissions rules and all applicable federal and state laws, rules and regulations.
Knowledge of public utility industry structure, operations, regulation and tariffs.
Knowledge of energy technology and the principles of supply and demand side management, and environmental and conservation management.
Knowledge of statistical and financial analytical tools and computer software packages required to complete projects.
Knowledge of service cost studies in related industries.
Knowledge of corporate economic and finance areas such as cost of capital, its determination and recovery, capital structure.
Knowledge of methodology of research.
Knowledge of econometrics and statistical analysis and modeling techniques.
Knowledge of costing concepts and principles of cost allocation methods.
Knowledge of revenue requirement determinations, rate design and determination, in both regulated and competitive environments.
Knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of team leadership in auditing large corporations.
Knowledge of the principles and practices of auditing.
Skill in the generation of econometrics and statistical forecasts.
Skill in interpreting industry forecasts and verifying the validity of the techniques used to generate such forecasts.
Skill in tracking economic trends in related industries and interpreting potential impact.
Ability to make recommendations in accordance with Commission policy, State and federal laws.
Ability to write clear, concise and informative reports, memos and written hearing testimony.
Ability to organize and present the results of research or analysis effectively in oral or written form.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
JOB REQUIREMENTS for Regulatory Economist
Applicants must have education, training and/or experience demonstrating competence in each of the following areas:
Possession of a Bachelors degree or higher in Accounting, Business Administration, Business Management, Economics, Finance, Engineering or Mathematics or related field.
Three years experience in econometrics which includes the application of mathematical and statistical techniques to economics in the study of problems, the analysis of data, and the development and testing of theories and economic models.
Three years experience in public utility regulation and rate determination which includes interpreting state and federal public utility laws (electric, telephone, gas, phone, cable, water) for activities such as rate base/rate of return regulations, tariff design and rates and services.
Three years experience in designing studies which includes determining study goals and objectives, information needed, data sources, sampling and collection methods.
Three years experience in presenting and defending sworn expert testimony for public utility regulations.
Six months experience in using statistical software such as SPSS or SAS.
Possession of a valid Driver's License (not suspended, revoked or cancelled, or disqualified from driving).