08/08/2013 12:00 EDT | Updated 10/07/2013 05:12 EDT

BC Hydro Denies Spiting Former B.C. Premier


B.C. Hydro is denying claims made by former Premier Bill Vander Zalm that the company intentionally placed smart meter equipment directly outside his home to spite him for his opposition to the devices.

In a letter published in Vancouver newspaper The Province on Wednesday, Vander Zalm said that "Hydro had its 'get-even' with me" by having the "biggest microwave installed in front of our house."

"We and our neighbours will suffer the effects of an ongoing barrage of radio waves," he wrote.

Vander Zalm claims the device, placed on a power pole adjacent to his property, collects data from smart meters in the area and sends it to the company’s head office.

Simi Heer, spokeswoman for B.C. Hydro, says the pole is not connected to the smart meter network and the installation was part of standard upgrades.

"It was near end of life and needed to be replaced. The pole contains switching capacitors," she says.

Vander Zalm told CBC News he's relieved to know the device is not transmitting microwaves, but he still thinks the proposed fees for people opting out of the smart meter program are "a bit spiteful."

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