General Manager, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU)
Member, ECE Board of Advisors
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Girish Balachandran is the General Manager of Riverside Public Utilities. As the General Manager of Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) - which serves electricity to approximately 105,000 customers and water to approximately 65,000 customers – he leads a dynamic organization of nearly 600 employees and manages a budget of approximately $500 million. RPU and is one of the largest municipal utilities in California and is the 29th largest public power utility in the country.
Since joining RPU in 2014, Balachandran has initiated a number of innovative and collaborative processes focused on the following priorities: rebuilding aging water and electrical infrastructure, utilizing advanced technology to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction, developing the workforce to meet new skills needed in the utility of the future, and developing business models for the utility to adapt and thrive in a an uncertain environment. These initiatives are together called Utility 2.0 and serves as a vision to transform the utility to serve the needs of customers in the 21st century.
Before joining RPU, Balachandran served as General Manager of Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) for seven years. Balachandran led a series of changes that resulted in AMP’s #1 rating in residential customer satisfaction after years of steady improvement, bond-rating increase from A- to A+, and selling a failing telecom system to end years of financial losses.
Prior to his tenure in Alameda, Balachandran served in a variety of capacities with the City of Palo Alto Utilities, including Assistant Director of Utilities, Resource Management. He started his career as an analyst with Pasadena Water and Power after obtaining his Masters in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Anna University in Chennai, India.
Balachandran is also a graduate of Riverside’s Leadership Academy and currently serves on the Boards of the Southern California Public Power Authority as its President, California Municipal Utilities Association and the American Public Power Association.