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The Office of the Public Advocate's primary responsibility is to represent the interests of Maine residential users of utility service. Our attorneys advocate for rates, services, as set forth in our authorizing statute, 35-A M.R.S. § 1702 and practices to benefit residential customers in regulatory and court proceedings. Most of our work takes place in proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Our Office also intervenes in cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency that oversees wholesale electricity markets, interstate electricity transmission and interstate gas transportation, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which regulates interstate communications by radio, TV, wire, satellite and cable. We are also active as a consumer representative in the stakeholder process at ISO New England, the regional electric transmission grid operator.
In addition, our Office testifies before the Legislature on matters affecting utility consumers, and provides information regarding utility services to the public at large.
The OPA is a member of the National Association of State Utilities Consumer Advocates (NASUCA), an association of 42 consumer advocates in 40 states and the District of Columbia which works with its members to share information and ideas that enables our agency to stay on top of developments in the regulation of utility service providers. We have staff members serving on NASUCA's Consumer Protection, Telecommunications and Electricity Committees.