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Opponents to the smart meter program fear negative effects on their health, privacy and hydro bills. (CBC )

BC Hydro says it is continuing with its plan to install more than 5,000 smart meters every day despite the vocal opposition from people with health and privacy concerns.

BC Hydro vice-president Greg Reimer says 250,000 smart meters will be installed by the end of October, and all 1.8 million will be installed throughout the province by the end of 2012.

Reimer acknowledges some customers have expressed concerns about the smart meters, but says that's just a small fraction of the utility's customer base.

"We've had a couple of thousand people indicate that they don't want a smart meter or have concerns about a smart meter. That represents about 0.15 per cent of our customer base," he said.

Hydro insists there are no health concerns connected to the wireless technology used in smart meters.

"I could go outside of my house, stand in front of my smart meter day and night for 20 years, and I would be exposed to the same radio frequency as a 30-minute cellphone conversation," Reimer said.

However, Hydro says it is committed to working with concerned customers on an individual basis to find a solution, which may mean, in some cases, installing the meters further from homes.

"If they don't want us to install a smart meter, we're not installing a smart meter. We are setting those folks aside, and talking to them on a case by case basis," said Reimer.

British Columbia’s information and privacy commissioner is investigating BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Program to ensure that it complies with privacy law.

Opponents to smart meters are organizing a campaign similar to Fight HST to try and force the program to be scrapped.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated BC Hydro may not install smart meters where customers have refused them. In fact, BC Hydro is committed to installing smart meters throughout the province.
    Oct 18, 2011 2:45 PM PT