Owner of At Harmony Consulting Narelle Haw has seen several people with severe health problems, including insomnia and heart palpitations, after their smart meters were switched on.
She said smart meters produced high-frequency radiation similar to wireless internet and mobile phones, and people shouldn’t be afraid to refuse having one installed.
“Until (providers) can turn around and say this technology is safe then they shouldn’t be doing it,” Mrs Haw said.
“It shouldn’t have been done in the first place, not without more consultation.”
The new digital meters are part of a major upgrade of Victoria’s electricity infrastructure.
North East provider SP AusNet said its meters complied with “all relevant international and Australian standards”.
But Mrs Haw said, like mobile phones, their long-term effects weren’t known.
“Mobile phones are voluntary and if people knew what their potential was perhaps they’d use them a different way,” she said.
“There is already a significant body of work that says this kind of technology affects us, we don’t know how, we don’t know why.
“The medical profession is saying there is definitely a correlation, especially for brain tumours, sperm count and blood barrier cross over.”
So far, five Victorian local councils have passed a motion saying they do not support the compulsory installation of the meters.
When asked if Indigo Council would consider passing a similar motion, acting chief executive officer Greg Pinkerton said it would have to wait until after this month’s local government elections.
Mrs Haw admitted she didn’t know how long it was likely to be before the smart meters could be guaranteed safe.
“The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency doesn’t have any standards for high-frequency radiation,” she said.
“They have no studies and nothing in regards to everyday low-levels of radiation … they don’t have the technology to do that.”
An SP AusNet spokesman said the energy company was required to replace old meters with smart meters in all small businesses and houses in its distribution area by the end of next year.
“Property owners are asked to provide free and clear access to their property for this installation to occur,” he said.
But Mrs Haw has received legal advice saying people were well within their rights to refuse.
“Our legal advice is that there’s no precedent whatsoever that says I must allow someone to walk onto my property and put a smart meter on,” she said.