The Maine Public Utilities Commission was recently the subject of a report (click link to download PDF) issued by a state government oversight office. The report recognizes some strengths and recommends improvements to processes at the PUC, particularly for the benefit of utility customers.
The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, an agency that reports to the Government Oversight Committee of the Legislature, issued its report on the Maine PUC in September. OPEGA’s report found that the PUC’s Consumer Assistance Division has a strong customer focus and is responsive to customers. CAD could improve by taking steps to recognize trends in contacts with that office to determine whether a broader action needs to be taken to respond to issues potentially affecting multiple customers.
The report also found that adjudicatory proceedings at the PUC can be difficult to navigate for individual customers who are intervenors or interested parties and not represented by counsel. OPEGA recommended that the PUC clarify the many ways that consumers’ input may be used in decision-making, and continue to improve the agency’s online case management system to make the portal more user-friendly.