Riverside Public Utilities General Manager Leaving for Job in Silicon Valley

Published: 12/07/2017




Dec. 7, 2017



Phil Pitchford

Communications Officer





Riverside Public Utilities General Manager Leaving for Job in Silicon Valley

Girish Balachandran, who has spent the last four years in Riverside, is joining Silicon Valley Clean Energy as CEO


RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Girish Balachandran, General Manager of Riverside Public Utilities (RPU), is leaving to join Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), a community-choice energy agency, as its Chief Executive Officer. Balachandran has managed RPU, a municipal utility of 645 employees serving 110,000 electric and 65,000 water customers, since January 2014.

Balachandran will remain at RPU through January 19. SVCE, a new start-up energy agency that began serving customers in April 2017, sources clean, renewable and carbon-free electricity on behalf of approximately 250,000 customers comprising a population of more than 600,000 people. It is the electricity provider for most Silicon Valley communities, including Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County.

“I am excited about my new career challenge in a cutting-edge segment of the public power industry, but I will miss living in Riverside, a special community in which so many residents are engaged and devoted to their city’s future,” Balachandran. “I’ll also miss those hardworking employees at RPU who provide this amazing community with reliable, low-cost power and water 24 hours per day, 365 days each year.”

City Manager John Russo called Balachandran “a visionary and energetic leader who has reset RPU’s direction to be prepared for the tremendous changes in the utility industry.”

“Leading SVCE is a tremendous opportunity for Girish, and I fully expect him to continue his demonstrated track record of successful leadership,” Russo said. “We will miss his direction and contributions to our city leadership team.”

“We are grateful for Girish’s service to the City of Riverside,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “His leadership in developing Utility 2.0 and positioning RPU to be competitive in the future has been valuable. We wish Girish well in his new endeavor.”

Balachandran has 28 years of experience in California electric, natural gas and water utilities. Before coming to Riverside, Balachandran worked for the City of Alameda for seven years as the utility’s General Manager.

During Balachandran’s career in Riverside, Standard & Poor’s affirmed RPU’s water revenue bonds at the AAA level and its electric bonds at the AA- level – the highest standard RPU has achieved. These ratings, which reward prudent management and constant transparency, allow RPU to utilize bonds at lower interest rates, saving Riverside customers millions of dollars.

“The utilities industry is as challenging as they come, and Girish has helped RPU prepare for many more challenges ahead,’ Mayor Pro Tem Jim Perry said. “We thank him for leadership during the past four years, a time of great change in the industry.”

Balachandran is the President of Southern California Public Power Authority, and serves on the Board of the California Municipal Utilities Association and the American Public Power Association.

“Moving to Silicon Valley to work for a newly-created organization in an emerging market is a remarkable opportunity,” Balachandran said. “I’m proud to have been part of the team – at RPU and the City – that achieved many firsts and has equipped RPU to be more resilient, reliable, customer-focused, low-cost and financially healthy. Finally, I’m grateful for the volunteers who serve on the RPU Board with dedication and passion, and who give up hundreds of hours of their time to create a great utility.”