Governor Janet Mills issued the following statement today on the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology’s unanimous vote to recommend the approval of attorney William Harwood of Yarmouth as the state’s Public Advocate. With today’s vote, the Maine State Senate will consider his nomination.
“The Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee’s unanimous support of Bill Harwood, one Maine’s most experienced energy and utility attorneys, as Public Advocate reflects both his considerable expertise and dedication to defending the interests of Maine people and ensuring our utilities are held accountable,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I know Bill will serve the people of Maine as Public Advocate with distinction and integrity, and I am hopeful that the Senate will approve his nomination.”
"I’m honored by the unanimous vote of the committee to serve as Maine’s next Public Advocate,” said Bill Harwood. “The committee’s knowledge and engagement about Maine’s utilities and energy future generated thoughtful, critical, and important questions that will help prepare me for the work ahead. I deeply value their endorsement and am ready to begin duties on behalf of Maine’s people to hold our utilities accountable and ensure the delivery of reliable, affordable services.”
The Office of the Public Advocate's primary responsibility is to represent the interests of Maine utility consumers, primarily in proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and in cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Governor Mills announced her intent to nominate Bill Harwood on December 15, 2021. Harwood currently serves as Senior Advisor for Regulatory Affairs within the Governor’s Energy Office, a position he has held since September of 2021.
Harwood would replace former Public Advocate Barry Hobbins, who retired from the position in June 2021. Andrew Landry, Deputy Public Advocate, has served as Acting Public Advocate in the interim.