Sen. Miramant bill to strengthen utilities oversight wins unanimous committee support

Posted:  Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 3:15pm

AUGUSTA — On March 12, a bill by Sen. Dave Miramant, D-Camden, to strengthen oversight of utility companies was unanimously approved by the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

The bill, LD 807, “An Act Regarding the Duties of the Public Advocate,” would allow the Public Advocate to work on issues on which the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is also working.

“We have a right to expect a certain standard of performance and competence from our utility companies in Maine,” said Sen. Miramant, in a news release. “By strengthening the Public Advocate, we can give the public better protection from all utilities that do not respect the customers who rely on them.”

The Public Advocate can provide additional oversight on issues not being addressed or dealt with properly by the PUC. But under current law, when the PUC says that it is working on an issue, the Public Advocate is prohibited from working on that same issue. LD 807 removes that prohibition. 

Sen. Miramant’s bill now faces votes in the Maine House and Senate.