The Cost of Living Crisis- Advice for Those Using Oxygen Concentrators

A oxygen support machine
21
December 2022

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If you are struggling to pay your electricity bills, we recommend you get in touch with your oxygen supplier as they may be able to increase the frequency of your electricity rebates. Speak to your local oxygen team in the first instance or ask to talk to a team member who looks after electricity and rebates. 

Energy Support Services

The Priority Services Register is a free support service offered by energy suppliers and network operators to help people in vulnerable situations. You can check eligibility for the Priority Services. To begin, register on the Ofgem website, and you will need to contact your energy supplier to register. The Energy Networks Association have a search tool to help you find out who your electricity supplier is.

Once registered, you will receive advance notice of power cuts and other priority support.

Your electricity supplier may be able to help in other ways, so do ask them what other support they can offer. 

NB: If you are struggling to pay your electricity bills, please do not limit your use of oxygen or consider switching off your oxygen machine.  

 Our advice: 

  • You can check the support and resources available listed above for help with paying your energy bills 
  • You can contact our Support Services Team for advice and signposting on support@actionpf.org or Tel: 01223 785725 

“When it comes to oxygen it is life and death, and not something that you can cut back on to save energy. If you are worried, please do not stay silent. Speak to us. We are here for you.” 

FAQ’s and Resources

If there’s a power cut, how will I cope without my medical equipment?” 

We are very concerned about how blackouts could affect people in our community who use oxygen and medical equipment at home. 

On the 20th of October 2022, Disability News Service (DNS) reported on government preparations to protect people who need electricity to run medical equipment in their homes. 

DNS contacted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) about what support would be made available to vulnerable people. BEIS stated that “those who need a continuous supply of electricity for medical reasons should seek advice from their local health service provider”. 

If an emergency power cut does take place, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) said it would typically last three hours. 

If you’re worried about how this could affect you, do consider joining the Priority Services Register. You can find further information about eligibility and how to apply in the section above on electricity rebates. 

Once registered, you will receive advance notice of planned power cuts in your area. You can also visit powercut105.com to learn more about when cuts might take place in your area. We will continue to monitor this situation, and please do contact our support line if you need advice. 

“How do I look after myself in the cold weather?”

“I’m worried about how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting my mental health.”

Where else can I find support?

Additional support is available from the following charities: 

National Energy Action (NEA)- The national fuel poverty charity, working to ensure that everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is warm and safe at home. 

Energy Action Scotland (EAS)- Energy Action Scotland is the national fuel poverty charity campaigning for an end to fuel poverty in Scotland. 

You can also try contacting your local council and your electricity supplier to see if they have any hardship fund grants available which you are eligible for. 

Share Your Story with Us

If you’re living with pulmonary fibrosis and are concerned about how this will affect you, or your loved one and would like to share your story with our community please get in touch. We know that through our community sharing their stories, it helps others feel less alone and builds a stronger, louder voice for change. 

We will update this page as we learn more, please know that you are not alone and support is available.