City admits water bill mistake, then ghosts customer for months

KPRC 2 ‘DRAINED’ Investigation into city of Houston water bill issues

Kingwood, Texas – KPRC 2 Investigates inaccurate and inflated water bills leaving Houstonians feeling ‘DRAINED.’ One Kingwood homeowner emailed Investigator Amy Davis after trying to get back money the city overcharged him for months.

Scott Elo purchased a home in kingwood in June of 2022. He thought his water bills seemed high, but it was summer, and he was watering his new lawn. When fall rolled around and his bill still didn’t go down, he looked more closely at his bill from the City of Houston.

Close look at bill shows meter reading mistake

He noticed that the city was billing him for three water meters even though he only has two, one main meter and one irrigation meter. The water department was showing the same meter readings for his main meter as one of the irrigation meters. Basically, double billing him every month from June of 2022 through March of 2023. When Elo discovered this, he filed a complaint and asked for his bill to be corrected. In writing a water department representative agreed with him.

KPRC 2 Investigates water bill issues in Houston. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“They finally said ‘Oh yeah, it looks like we overcharged you to the tune of $627,’” explains Elo. “We overcharged you. We fixed it in our system and we’ll submit it for a bill adjustment. You should hear within 90 days and now it’s been twice that long and nothing.”

Elo tried calling and emailing the city again inquiring about that now overdue credit.

This time a water representative replied in writing, “our records do not indicate a bill correction is pending.”

Elo was back at square one. When we reached out to the water department, they never even bothered to respond but within hours that $627 credit showed up in his account. Can you name any other business that can overcharge you and then hang onto your money for half a year?

“It’s a city utility. Right? It’s hard to escalate which is why I appreciate your job at KPRC to be able to stick up for people who are struggling with the city of Houston,” said Elo.

We are still working on our ‘DRAINED’ KPRC 2 Investigation

No one else is looking out for you. That is why we are continuing our investigation into the water department.

Since we started this ‘DRAINED’ project last November we have recovered $46,336.01 to Houston water customers in refunds or credits they were due.

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.