Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has increased its efforts to install smart meters across the city.

The commission plans replace about 223,000 of the old electric meters by the end of 2013, however any homeowner who doesn’t agree to install one of the new smart meters, will have to pay a fee, reported Channel 9.

On Tuesday, OUC crews have begun to transform Orlando’s Colonialtown neighbourhood by installing the new, digital electric meters.

The new meters will enable customers to track their usage hour by hour online.

However, recently there has been a controversy over possible health risks, caused by the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the meters.

OUC spokesman Tim Trudell was quoted by the channel as saying that customers shouldn’t feel the need to opt out, because the devices are safe.

Channel 9 said that "opt out" programs in other parts of the country include a one-time $75 dollar fee and a $10 monthly fee.