Other than reducing direct usage and also switching provider if there is a real discount and bargain to be had.
Options are very limited.
Puzzling over this more one other potentially viable solution is to overestimate your meter reading to lock in current unit price for future
use - if you think unit prices are going to increase a lot more.
Prepaying X amount of units now avoiding future unit price increases.
If you had a good handle on your typical monthly or annual unit usage and the cashflow to furnish this might be a viable strategy.
Do the companies have checks and balances to stop their customers gaming the self submitted metre reads - no idea.
‘Course the various and nebulous utility bill taxes that forever lurk, could be made so as to negate any savings of the above method.
The general public may consider also removing direct debits as a protection against managing their own cash flow, and they can’t switch everyone off right… but those accessible outside metre boxes don’t look so convenient now eh!
Haha - been thinking about doing that myself. If you are on ebilling you can go back through your bills easily enough. I did and noticed that I got an estimated bill and then an actual. I also have a good fix on monthly consumption by season. So you can’t record in a high reading if your next bill is going to be an actual coz you get rumbled - but you can if it is going to be estimated. So target that bill.
Secondly make sure you can switch to other heating sources for the winter. I have oil and a stove. No immersion and no electric heaters at all during the winter. Switch to LED. If you have filled up you won’t get hit with the marginal pricing too hard. Skip diving could become popular. I know my brother is still burning my old kitchen in his stove.
Don’t not heat your house as the cold can do damage e.g. damp and mould. Think about bringing elderly relatives into your home - mine are fully reliant on gas and we have set aside a bedroom already.
Finally, it’s really hard to store diesel. It goes off after a few weeks.
Are solar panels becoming a no brainer at this stage. I think they are for us. I like the added benefit of having some battery storage when the grid goes down. And you can sell back into the grid in Ireland now.
It’ll just be myself in the house half the week as wife minds her mother.
Rather than heat the whole house for say 6 hours over the day, wondering if it’s cheaper to put
a) the heat (gas boiler) on for the whole house (don’t have zonal) for 3 x 1 hour blasts per day and then
b) use a 2kW oil heater in my office while I work for say 3 x 1 hour blasts?
Figure out what the minimal boiler temp relative to the house temp is that takes the edge off the cold (this will vary by the day but you’ll see a base that will guide if you observe over time), if it’s t-shrrt hot indoors - it’s too hot!
For example if 42c is usually the optimum spot, set the boiler to that and wait for it to come up to it, if the edge is not gone, raise it 1-2 degrees at a time.
It’s much like driving, put the foot down or drive even and steady. Blasting is putting the foot down, then stopping dead. Then putting foot down again. - Heating a zone with electric means the whole structure get’s even colder and then can take more than a day and more energy spent to get back to comfort, also electric is very costly, afaict GAS is far far more efficient.
On/off with heating doesn’t’ work, be the fireman of your engine, build that fire up nice, create the base heat envelope within the house.
Find the drafts, sort them out. Make friends with a winter cardy!
Patches optional but may be required over time…
If you’re running lower temp in the house and worry about moisture build up, get that dehumidifier to reduce moisture from drying clothes and the inhabitants, the other ingredient mould in any cold spot on walls (often out of or above sight (worse if light colour too).
As @Connect4 I think wrote, do not stop heating the house/structure. It’s a false economy on many levels.
If you keep an eye on the outdoor temps, you’ll also get a good idea what temp is the cut off point for no-heat, I’d say 10c would be typical, where the heat must gone on, also depends on the relative humidity, and/or wind.
I also think forget all the fancy timers, advanced timers and apps, and go full manual control. Make many judgement calls a day rather than WTF when the bill or worse DD hits.
Robot living engenders less critical and experientially informed thinking, which is often costly in surprising ways, but you wont’ know until you dial back the “auto” to OFF.
Maybe it’s the issue of water vapour or condensation build inside tanks, but plastic tanks suffer less form this iirc and I think a mitigation is a kind of water sump or filter usually on the outflow to deal with any unwanted water.
I will triple check this with those who know these things hands on.