The Office of Public Advocate represents Maine utility customers in matters under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, which oversees local telephone service, electric, gas and water utilities. The public advocate is appointed to a four-year term by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature.

In the fiscal year ending last June 30, the office participated in 89 government proceedings and testified on 20 bills. By its estimate, it saved ratepayers $11.2 million that year, in part by advocating for reforms to Efficiency Maine Trust programs that serve low-income residents and reaching settlements in two natural gas rate cases.

The public advocate has little to do with cable or wireless companies, or internet service, all of which are largely unregulated. It does, however, compile online Ratewatcher Guides, which can help residents compare services. In 2015, the office performed an analysis of call performance and signal strength in a handful of rural telephone exchanges, mostly in western Maine.

In the Legislature, the office has focused mostly on electric and energy issues.

The public advocate has testified on 23 bills so far this session, 15 involving energy.