Houston Public Works Press Release

City of Houston Announces Comprehensive Water Bill Improvement Plan

April 04, 2024

Massive restructuring efforts to restore public trust through transparency

HOUSTON - Under Mayor John Whitmire’s leadership, the City of Houston is bringing forth its plan to prevent customers from receiving inaccurate water bills while tackling structural issues aimed at restoring public trust through transparency.
Starting April 1, 2024, single-family residential customers will have set usage calculated, which will be reflected in their May bill. This set usage will provide customers with consistent water bills while Houston Public Works makes necessary improvements to ensure the accuracy of each customer’s monthly water usage readings:

  • The calculation will NOT include charges during the City’s drought or freeze, water leaks on a customer’s property, or charges for zero or estimated bills.

  • This set usage will prevent surprises in water bills, as the city works to accelerate the replacement of failed remote meter reading devices.

  • Single-family residential customers will continue to receive a set usage bill until an upgraded remote reading device is installed on their property or the accuracy of the current remote reading device is verified.

  • The city expects to install approximately 125,000 remote reading devices throughout Houston beginning immediately and will fast-track the replacement of failed devices.

  • Customers who already have an upgraded, working remote reading device will transition to a water bill reflecting their actual usage as early as August 2024. These customers will receive a notice 60 days before their bill is transitioned to the new billing format.

I promised Houstonians transparency and common sense to address the water billing problems plaguing our residents. Today, I’m keeping that promise. My administration has spent the past few months analyzing the challenges customers faced and designed a solution to charge people only for what they have used,” said Mayor John Whitmire. “For too long, residents have dealt with exasperating and inconsistent charges. I want the public to know that I heard you, and I want to restore your trust in the billing process.”

The City of Houston is launching an online dashboard to give customers a transparent look at their water accounts at improvewaterbills.org. The dashboard will also let customers know if the remote reading device attached to their meter is functioning.

A portion of the comprehensive plan will enhance the customer service experience through a holistic approach.

  • Expand in-person customer service availability. Customers can now schedule in-person appointments on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays to ask questions about their bills. These appointments also have a virtual option.

  • Employ new quality control measures to alert to possible inaccurate bills and easy resolution process.

  • Engage City Council Members to enhance customer accessibility.

  • Streamline relief requests into one centralized form.

  • Redesign utility bill to make it easier for customers to understand.

  • On March 20 2024, City Council voted to repeal City Ordinance 47-72 to make it easier to provide accurate adjustments to customer accounts. 

My Administration understands this overhaul will require additional resources to implement,” said Mayor John Whitmire. “I look forward to making significant progress, as we provide lasting improvements for our community.

Customers with questions about their updated bill should call 713.371.1400 or email [email protected].

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Houston Public Works (www.HoustonPublicWorks.org) is the largest and most diverse public works organization in the country, responsible for creating a strong foundation for Houston to thrive. Houston Public Works is responsible for streets and drainage, production and distribution of water, collection, and treatment of wastewater, and permitting and regulation of public and private construction covering a 671-square mile service area. Houston Public Works is accredited by the American Public Works Association.
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Media Contact

  • Katelynn Burns
  • Office of the Director - Communications
  • 611 Walker St., Houston TX 77002
  • 832.395.2455
  • [email protected]
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Media Contact

  • Erin Jones
  • Office of the Director - Communications
  • 611 Walker St., Houston TX 77002
  • 713.853.6073
  • [email protected]
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