Policy Associate or Senior Policy Associate, Gas Decarbonization
Duration: Full-Time
Salary Range: $ 43,700 – $ 66,100 (see below for more information)
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

Job overview and requirements

Fresh Energy is hiring a full-time policy associate or senior policy associate to join our Gas Decarbonization team. This position will actively support and sometimes lead work on regulatory, legislative, and administrative advocacy related to Fresh Energy’s work to transition the natural gas system away from fossil fuels and onto carbon-free electricity in buildings. We’re looking for someone who is passionate, yet pragmatic, a person who can dig into the details, identify solutions, and help us create a clean energy future that benefits all. If this sounds like you, please read on!

This position will be located at our office in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota; however, Fresh Energy is currently functioning as a hybrid office with staff working in our office or at home/remotely depending on the function and preference. For this role the candidate will coordinate with their coach on an agreed upon arrangement. To protect the safety of all employees, we are a fully vaccinated workplace with proof of vaccination required for all staff and vendors before entering our office.

Fresh Energy is committed to co-creating an inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplace. Our learning continues with our commitment to be an anti-racist organization: https://fresh-energy.org/anti-racism

Our leadership is accountable to all communities, customers, partners, vendors including but not limited to individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+, veterans, persons with disabilities, womxn, religiously affiliated, and/or neurodivergent.

Our story

As proven leaders in energy and climate, Fresh Energy understands that there are solutions within reach that can help us prevent the very worst damages of climate change. For nearly 30 years, Fresh Energy has been speeding Minnesota’s transition to a clean energy economy to ensure that our region enjoys good health, a vibrant economy, and thriving, equitable communities today and for generations to come. Our mission is to shape and drive bold policy solutions to achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies.

Fresh Energy has historically worked to decarbonize the electric power sector by closing coal plants, restricting the build-out of natural gas plants, and facilitating the deployment of carbon-free renewables like wind and solar. In recent years, however, we have turned our focus to additional sectors of the economy that also require urgent decarbonization. For instance, Fresh Energy has been an early proponent of strategic electrification, recognizing that to achieve the level of carbon reduction we need now, we must combine deep decarbonization of electricity generation with thoughtful electrification of buildings, transportation, and other sectors of the economy—while continuing to promote energy efficiency and ensure all solutions are equitable. Although Minnesota is moving away from carbon-intensive fuel for electricity generation, investments continue in the gas infrastructure systems used to heat homes and power industry.

Fresh Energy’s focus on regulation and policy in the building sector is particularly crucial at this time. Our staff are paving the way for Minnesota to transition buildings off fossil fuels and onto carbon-free electricity, protecting against the advancement of carbon-based “alternative gaseous fuels” like renewable natural gas and synthetic methane. As the needs and opportunities grow to move quickly on the transition to clean energy, Fresh Energy is expanding its staff, creating a great opportunity for a policy associate or senior policy associate role to support our advocacy in evaluating the changes to natural gas utility regulatory and policy structures needed to meet or exceed Minnesota’s climate goals.

Reports to:

Director, Gas Decarbonization

Before you read further, check our video link overview of this role!

Essential responsibilities

A. Policy and Programs: A policy associate or senior policy associate role in the Gas Decarbonization program within the Energy Transition department to help shape our advocacy in evaluating the changes to the natural gas utility regulatory system needed to meet Minnesota’s climate goals.

  • Conduct regulatory, policy, legislative, legal, technical, and financial analysis related to policy proposals, changes, and approaches.
  • Make written and oral presentations to collaborators, utilities, regulators, policy makers, and other stakeholders as part of the program’s outreach and advocacy functions.
  • Hold responsibility for specific elements of the Gas Decarbonization program area, including identifying opportunities for engaging with stakeholders and with policies.
  • In collaboration with the Communications department, create and publish reports, white papers, web content, e-newsletters, and other program information. When appropriate, work to optimize media coverage of program goals, activities, and successes; this may include media interviews as well as writing op-ed pieces, and also includes the recruitment and training of effective messengers.
  • Develop and serve as a subject matter specialist, working with strategy leads, to ensure that the transition away from fossil fuels in the building sector is accelerated by ending subsidies and other investments in fossil fuels and carbon intensive infrastructure by 2030, while also supporting the workforce and communities most impacted by the transition.
  • Actively identify and implement cross department opportunities to better achieve Fresh Energy’s mission and imperatives through work between or across teams such as Clean Electricity, Public Affairs, Communications, and Energy Access and Equity.

Participate in culture of collaboration and model our core values.

  • Model organization core values such as acting with honesty and integrity and acting to advance equity and justice. You can read more about our core values and mission here: https://fresh-energy.org/about-us.
  • Shape and support organization-wide systems such as our culture of fundraising, coaching, and transparency in developing individual and team goals.
  • Exhibit a clear commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and provide leadership in continually advancing Fresh Energy’s commitment to equity and being an anti-racist organization. You can read more here: https://fresh-energy.org/our-commitment-to-diversity-equity-and-inclusion.
  • Work effectively in the context of your immediate team, the broader Fresh Energy team, and with external partners, enhancing collaboration by maintaining good communication, seeking and respecting diverse viewpoints, engendering trust, fulfilling responsibilities, and ensuring that all team members and their contributions are valued.

B. Adaptability in assuming new responsibilities as need arises in line with strategic direction.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Behavior:

  • Strong background and/or interest in energy policy topics including those in natural gas, electric, and dual-fuel utilities, including business models, rate design, integrated distribution planning, integrated resource planning, supply/demand, infrastructure, operations, etc.
  • Ability to conduct rigorous information-gathering and compile findings into easily digestible and compelling formats.
  • A learning and growth mindset, with regard to individual skills and experiences and exposure to unfamiliar subjects.
  • Experience engaging, influencing, and working collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders across different interests.
  • Experience and/or readiness to present before regulators, policymakers, utilities, and other key stakeholders.
  • Experience and/or readiness to engage in regulatory, legislative, and administrative proceedings.
  • Planful and results-oriented.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Solid computer skills in Windows environment, including MS Office, Teams, and Zoom.
  • Self-starter who is able to work independently.
  • Team player who desires working in an environment where working as a team is valued and practiced.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform well in fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings/weekends is required.
  • Persons in this position frequently lift, carry, push and/or pull objects weighing up to 20 pounds.

Policy Associate Level Education and Compensation

  • A graduate degree or a bachelor’s degree with 2 years of direct experience in energy, environment, policy, economics, technology, or related fields.
  • Starting salary range $43,700 – $54,600 based on experience with opportunity for compensation change based on performance, strategic direction, equity across the organization, and organizational budget.

Senior Policy Associate Level Education and Compensation

  • A graduate degree with 3-4 years of directly relevant experience or a bachelor’s degree with 4-7 years of direct experience in energy, environment, policy, economics, technology, or related fields.
  • Starting salary range $52,900 – $66,100 based on experience with opportunity for compensation change based on performance, strategic direction, equity across the organization, and organizational budget.

Compensation and benefits

  • Full-time, exempt position, working 32-40 hours per week. We believe in caring for others at work and at home. Fresh Energy is committed to keeping the workload in alignment with the true hours worked and respecting the space needed to take personal time to care for your wellbeing.
  • 24 days of Personal Time Off (increases each year of employment), 15 paid holidays, and a flexible, family-friendly schedule; plus summer Fridays where the office closes at noon.
  • We provide medical and dental plans, additional voluntary vision, short- and long-term disability, life, AD&D insurance, and 5 percent of annual salary contribution to 403(b) retirement plan starting on the first day of employment, with an optional 1:1 match of up to 3 percent. In addition, we incentivize transit, biking, and walking, offering a dollar-for-dollar bus pass match, $1 for each trip to and from work by bike or walk, and an indoor bike storage area, as well as gym, and showers available for Fresh Energy staff as part of being a tenant of the Historic Hamm Building.
  • We foster a respectful, collaborative, and fun work environment. Learn more about working at Fresh Energy here: https://fresh-energy.org/our-team/working-at-fresh-energy/
  • Generous parental leave after one-year of full-time employment. Eligible employees are entitled to up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave under this policy. Fresh Energy will pay an eligible employee for the first six (6) weeks of leave with the rest of the leave being unpaid or being paid through the use of Personal Time Off.
  • We promote and sponsor individual and joint professional workshops and trainings.
  • Moving allowance of up to $1,500 for a candidate who is relocating from outside of Minnesota.
  • An organizational culture that seeks, integrates, and nurtures self-direction, collaboration, diversity, equity and inclusion with all employees.

Our hiring process and timeline

  • Please note that this is a reposting of this opening with an expanded range of qualifications and starting position.
  • We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled; preference given to applicants submitting prior to February 25, 2022. Applications will still be accepted until March 11 2022.
  • Our hiring team will begin selecting finalists to interview in March 2022.
  • Finalists will be invited to a second-round interview; at that time, we will ask for three professional references and two work samples relevant to this position, e.g., a technical paper, a professional writing sample, or other relevant materials.
  • Ideally the selected candidate would begin work in late March 2022.

To apply

  • At your earliest convenience: Please submit a resume and brief (one page) cover letter including where/how you first found out about this job and whether you are applying to be considered for the policy associate or senior policy associate position in one PDF to our hiring team at [email protected] No phone calls, please.
  • We look forward to your application!

Fresh Energy’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Employer Policy reflect our commitment to ensure equality, treat everyone with respect, and promote diversity in the workplace. 

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