Governor Janet Mills these days swore in William Harwood as Community Advocate for the State of Maine. Harwood, just one of Maine’s most expert vitality and utility lawyers, was unanimously confirmed for the placement by the Maine Point out Senate these days. The Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technologies experienced also unanimously voted on January 11, 2022 to advise his confirmation.

“When it comes to utilities in Maine, few individuals are more professional or proficient than Bill – and no just one is greater positioned than him to stand up for Maine folks and maintain our utilities accountable to them,” mentioned Governor Janet Mills. “I glance forward to performing with Monthly bill and drawing on his deep abilities to progress our endeavours to keep utilities accountable and supply dependable company for Maine folks.”

“I am honored and deeply humbled by the unanimous vote of the Maine Senate to confirm my appointment as Public Advocate,” claimed Invoice Harwood. “This is an crucial time for Maine and there is considerable do the job forward to symbolize and protect the passions of Maine ratepayers, keep our utilities accountable to ensure shipping and delivery of affordable, reliable support to all Maine persons, and assist navigate the electrical power changeover in Maine and its effect on our local weather, atmosphere, and economic climate. I look forward to obtaining started out, and will do all in my electrical power to are living up to the duty bestowed on me now.”

The Place of work of the Public Advocate’s most important accountability is to symbolize the pursuits of Maine utility consumers, largely in proceedings just before the Maine Public Utilities Fee (PUC) and in scenarios in advance of the Federal Electricity Regulatory Fee (FERC) and the Federal Communications Fee (FCC).

Prior to his confirmation, Harwood served as Senior Advisor for Regulatory Affairs within just the Governor’s Electricity Office environment, a situation he has held due to the fact September of 2021.

Ahead of becoming a member of the Governor’s Power Place of work, Harwood served as Senior Counsel at Verrill Dana in Portland. Over his 4-10 years lawful occupation, he represented a extensive assortment of entities, these as utility buyers, general public utilities, renewable vitality companies, know-how businesses, paper mills, and schools and universities, in matters prior to condition and federal regulatory organizations. He has also aided landowners, from blueberry growers to nursing houses, in their negotiations with renewable strength developers about the siting and positive aspects of new solar tasks.

Harwood has also been concerned in a lot of drinking water utility difficulties in Maine, which include symbolizing buyers in disputes more than h2o fees, disputes with owners of land adjacent to sources of provide and disputes in excess of entry to drinking water materials. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Legislation at the University of Maine Faculty of Regulation, wherever he taught utility regulation and administrative regulation.

Harwood has served on the Board of the Maine Bar Foundation and Lawful Companies for the Elderly, together with as its Chair. He has also served on the governing boards of Hearthstone Inc., Katahdin Institute, The Jackson Laboratory, Yarmouth Historical Modern society, Waynflete School and Maine Justice Basis, and the Hurricane Island Foundation. He is a earlier receiver of the Muskie Entry to Justice Award, the American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, and the Howard Dana Award for Remarkable Services for his do the job to boost free legal companies for the bad.

Harwood is a graduate of Harvard College and Fordham College. He life in Yarmouth with his spouse, Ellen, and has 5 grown kids.

Harwood replaces former Community Advocate Barry Hobbins, who retired from the place in June 2021. Andrew Landry, Deputy Public Advocate, has served as Acting General public Advocate in the interim.