Energy Minister Bill Bennett says British Columbians opposed to having smart meters installed at their homes now have some ways to opt out of the program, but that decision will cost them extra cash.

Bennett says he's responding to public pressure about the meters that 60,000 people have refused over concerns about the possible dangers of high-frequency radio waves, which help transmit data to BC Hydro computers.

Bennett says people could have a digital meter installed with the radio transmission turned off or keep the old analog meter, but both options involve more costs.


BC Hydro is replacing digital and analog power consumption meters with wireless-enabled "smart meters." (CBC)

He says the fees associated with radio-off or analog-meter options will be established by BC Hydro, which says the meters help people conserve power and automatically report outages.

Hydro says 96 per cent of its customers have switched to the new meters, and that there are now 1.8 million in use around the province.

The B.C. government says the provincial health officer, Health Canada and the World Health Organization report that smart meters pose no known health risks.