Bournemouth parents 'scared to look at bills' as costs soar for daughter's life-saving equipment

As of April 1st, the energy price cap for those on default tariffs who pay by direct debit rose by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971. Credit: ITV Meridian / PA

A family from Bournemouth has said the cost of living crisis has left them 'scared' as they rely on energy to power vital medical equipment for their daughter.

The McEvoys' eight-year-old daughter Elisa has cerebral palsy, and requires around the clock care, much of which is provided by medical equipment which draws a significant amount of power.

The rise in the energy price cap means they will end up paying significantly more for their energy - energy which is used to keep their daughter, Elisa, alive and well.

Elisa's equipment cannot always be turned off, with some appliances required to be on 24 hours a day.

Her parents have made all the cuts they possibly can, including limiting food budgets and not going to social gatherings.

They said they have been forced to remove 'treats' and nice things for their other daughter, who is six-years-old, just to make ends meet.

Watch: Maiju McEvoy tells ITV News Meridian how stressful the rise in energy costs is for the family.

Maiju McEvoy, Elisa's mum, said she wished she could just 'close her eyes' and not look at her bills.

She told ITV News Meridian: "If I could I would just close my eyes and not look at the bills but I know I need to. I'm just very scared."

Unlike other families who may be able to alter how they use energy, the McEvoys cannot.

Tasks like keeping Elisa's room the right temperature, her oxygen machine running and ensuring her SATs are correct are essential.

Elisa cannot regulate her own body temperature, so on cold days she requires the heating on to keep her room warm.

In the summer she requires air conditioning to keep her room cool, a problem exacerbated by the heat her medical equipment emits.

Her dad, Dan McEvoy, said the family has been forced to turn off electricity and heating to other parts of the house to ensure Elisa's room has power and warmth.

"We now limit Elisa to how many showers she has a day, it is now one a day.

"She used to have one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

"We have to limit when stuff is now turned on. We're essentially living as frugally as possible."

"It's another degree of worry, on top of looking after Elisa and her medical needs." He said.

Watch: Dan McEvoy tells ITV News Meridian of the steps the family have taken to reduce energy usage.

A survey carried out by Disability Charity Scope found that over 1/3 of disabled adults say their impairment or condition has affected their energy costs.

55% of disabled adults have worried about paying their energy bills.

The research also found that more than 4 million households in the UK with a disabled person spend over £1,500 a year on energy.

Of these, 790,000 spend over £2,500 annually compared to the average UK household at around £1,200.

But those costs are set to rise dramatically as the price of energy soars.

As of April 1st, the energy price cap for those on default tariffs who pay by direct debit rose by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971.