Questions Answered – Oxygen Concentrators and Your Electric Bill

Depending on your model, how long you us it, and the setting you use for your oxygen therapy, your oxygen concentrator will use a certain amount of electricity. There are some things you might be able to do to get help paying your electric bill, since there will be some extra usage reflected on your bill, from using your oxygen concentrator.

Even if you use your oxygen concentrator all day every day, this increase in usage cost shouldn't be outrageously high. However, since it is caused by a piece of medical machinery that is required for your well-being and survival, here are some things you can do to get help, as well as some methods to reduce your usage.

Q: Will Medicare help pay for the electricity used by my oxygen concentrator, if they cover my oxygen concentrator and other equipment?

A: Medicare will not help you pay for electricity used by your oxygen concentrator, even if they do cover the equipment itself, your accessories for the concentrator, as well as repairs.

Q: Can I get help paying for the extra electricity used by my oxygen concentrator?

A: Check with your electric company. Depending on the electric company and the area you live in, they might have a program in place that will give you a discount on your bill. There are also charitable organizations, and government run programs that can help you either reduce your bill, or pay it for you in full each month.

Your eligibility for programs like this might depend on the medical necessity (which you have one if you are using an oxygen concentrator with a prescription), and your income. If you fall low enough on the income scale, what you have to pay for your electric bill might be lowered.

One of these ways is through a tax deduction for using medical equipment. This also depends on your income, as well as other deductions you might have. You'll need to figure out the yearly cost of running your oxygen concentrator, which you can do by following these steps:

1. Find the volts and amps on the label on your oxygen concentrator.
2. Multiply the volts and the amps (volts x amps) and write down the number you get.
3. Find the kilowatt hours by multiplying the answer you got in step 2 by .001.
4. Figure out how many hours you use your oxygen concentrator. For example, if you use your concentrator 5 hours per day, multiply 365 (days in the year) by 5.
5. Multiply the kilowatt hours (the answer you got in step 3) by the answer you got in step 4 for the hours.
6. Ask your electric company what they charge per kilowatt (most likely a cent like .10 per kilowatt) and then multiply that by the answer you got in step 5. The answer you get is your yearly cost of running your concentrator.

Q: What can I do to make my oxygen concentrator use less electricity?

A: You can't change how much electricity your concentrator uses, but you can take other steps to reduce how much electricity you use overall. Use low energy bulbs, keep non-essential appliances unplugged when not in use, and turn your lights off when you leave a room.

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