AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage on Monday announced that he has named Timothy Schneider of Portland to the position of Public Advocate.

Schneider, who is an attorney at Pierce Atwood, will represent the interests of Maine ratepayers in proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Those proceedings will include issues covering electricity and natural gas prices.

The Public Advocate also supports Maine residents on matters related to telecommunications, including access to broadband internet.

“We must find ways to make Maine more competitive, and part of that includes expanding access to broadband and lowering electricity prices. Today, Mianers are burdened with some of the highest energy prices in the nation, and the cost of doing business in Maine is a huge jobs killer,” LePage said in a press release. “We must have a strong advocate who is working toward opportunities that will enable Maine to compete in the global market.”