A woman who replaced her smart meter because she believed it was affecting her health is now in the dark after BC Hydro cut off her power.

After the power company installed a smart meter on Debbie Stutters’ home last year, the Peachland resident said she began experiencing terrible headaches.

She thinks they were caused by radio waves emitted by the device.

“I just know I was affected,” Stutters said. “I will not take something that will compromise my health further.”

A month ago, with the company refusing to replace her smart meter with an older one, Stutters and her husband bought an analog meter and swapped it out themselves.

“We were really cautious that we put it in safely and securely,” she said.

But BC Hydro said Stutters’ actions were potentially dangerous, not only to her, but to the people who live around her.

“We have no idea whether this meter has actually been properly constructed and whether it has been rated appropriately for the amount of electricity going through,” spokeswoman Cindy Verschoor said. “The worst case scenario is it could blow up, endangering the family and their neighbourhood.”

The company said it no longer supplies analog meters.

As a result, the power to Stutters’ home was cut off on April 17th – leaving her literally in the dark for three days. She says she has no plans to bow to BC Hydro’s demands that she reinstall the smart meter.

She’s now using generators to supply power to necessary appliances like her refrigerator and deep freeze.

BC Hydro said Stutters’ claim that the meter caused her headaches is unsubstantiated, but many British Columbians remain unconvinced that the devices are safe.

The Peachland woman hopes others will follow her lead despite the fact that she’s now powerless.

Some people have refused to have smart meters installed over worries about the possible danger of high frequency radio waves, which the meters use to wirelessly transmit data to Hydro computers.

The Crown corporation has said smart meters will save money, help people conserve power and automatically report power outages.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Kent Molgat