Initially I bought some dumb old fashion timer switches but soon realised they have limited application.
I discovered affordable smart switches from Sonoff (@£3.80), wired them to short single and double gang extensions leads (@1.90 from cpc), plus some 4 gangs for use in the kids bedrooms. Downloaded the ewelink app, paired switches with a more secure SSID WiFi network and programmed the switches on/off times and frequencies in the app on my iPad. They’re the bees knees as far as I’m concerned: all devices in my kids rooms are controlled by 4-gang extension leads with smart switches that switches everything off when they leave the house for school, turn back on when they get home and off again when they go to bed, and on before they wake up. A separate temperature switch controls the fan in their rooms, so they can stay on while they fall asleep and turn off when the temp in the room has reached a cool enough temperature. The only time this system needs adjusting is during holidays/inset days, or when they’re ill. Both my wife and I charge our phones in the bedroom overnight, and the chargers are plugged into an extension lead with a switch that’s off between 7am and 11pm.
I have Alexa dots so activated the EWeLink skill to voice control every switch or set up a routine in Alexa, or via ifttt.com to automate some switches based on external triggers: A corner light comes on at sunset and turns off at 11pm.. My son loves showing off how he can voice control the fan and lights in his room 🤗
Apart from the basic switches (£3.80) I have temperature ones (£10) for the fans in the kids bedrooms and power monitor switches (£10) hooked up to large devices such as dishwasher, outdoor pool pump, washing machine and oven, which allow me to track energy consumption of these devices over time. Last year I left the pool pump running entire days; now the pump only runs 4 hours a day; long enough to pump the entire pool volume based on its stated hourly throughput, so a massive reduction
Worth pointing out that this only works when every member of the household has similar levels of tolerance for technology, and that everyone is willing to embrace the new tech. For instance I got my youngest to colour code his movements in a 24 hour chart and showed him that the switches in his room would only be off when he’s away or not awake, and I consulted my eldest explaining what I am doing and how she could control it herself on her phone and I’d make changes if it affected her. (My wife on the other hand is not a fan at all...)
I also invested in two multi usb charging hubs and charge all devices from them to reduce the no of USB chargers permanently connected to the mains. All my kids’ portable devices are charged overnight from the hubs in the dining room, so there are no stray chargers left plugged in and no temptation for my kids to be on their devices when they should be sleeping..
I have a tv plus set top box/amp/game console/ethernet hub and bought a power strip energy saver
that automatically cuts the power to all devices when the tv is turned off. Works a treat.
My router has a feature to switch off transmitting, so between 2 and 7am it’s in power-saving mode. (I can’t turn it off completely because rebooting the router messes with my voip phone system’s internet connection.)
I basically audited every mains-connected device and considered whether it would benefit from having a switch and if there is a fixed routine/periods during the day when they are not needed.
All appliances I buy are AAA+ energy rated, and I also have a pulley maid ceiling dryer to dry washing. I pour water in the tea mugs first and then in the kettle so only boil what’s needed and not overfill. Next experiment is to see if I can reduce use of the oven - mainly for Saturday pizzas and Sunday roasts. I’m interested seeing if a pressure cooker can be used to cook Sunday meals more efficiently; maybe time for a revival?
As others already pointed out led lights are the way to go. Funny story: In the utility room we have 6 4W downlighters, and my wife likes to have them on even if she has no plan to go there during the evening. It drives me crazy, so I am minded to put in to replace the wall switch with a PIR switch so they only go on when someone is in the utility room... 😂😂😂. The only thing I haven’t cracked is the chandelier in the sitting room; I haven’t found dimmable warm light led bulbs that have the right temperature light. I tried a number of different bulbs but no luck so far. And that’s 5*18W - so I’d welcome any suggestions from anyone who has found warm light led replacements for dimmable B35 E14 Candle (Small Edisson Screw). I must’ve been unlucky but bought 3 different bands and they were all advertised as being warm / 2700k but they all emitted cold/blue light so haven’t completed this task yet.