A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the latest costs ladled on Houston area consumers thanks to electric deregulation. The newest charges — about $1.7 billion — relate to a settlement over “stranded costs.” They represent the investment that the old monopoly utilities made in things such a nuclear power plants before deregulation.

The settlement stemmed from a case had been tied up in lawsuits for a decade. A ruling by the state Supreme Court and a settlement involving CenterPoint Energy ultimately resulted in the $1.7 billion deal. That comes in addition to the $2.3 billion CenterPoint was already allowed to collect for stranded costs. The result for most consumers works out to about $7.30 a month, or about $4 billion total.

Read the full article at the Houston Chronicle website.