How Much Does It Cost to Make Perfect Toast?

Ever wondered how much electricity you burn through making toast and coffee each morning? Canstar discovers the cost of powering your kitchen!

If you have ever looked inside your toaster and seen those glowing, hot wires, you could be forgiven for thinking making toast burns through a phenomenal amount of electricity. But the truth is … it’s costing you mere cents. Canstar takes a closer look at how much your morning toast (and cuppa!) might be adding to your energy expenses.

How much does it cost to use a toaster?

Cooking with a two-slice toaster will cost between 0.41c and 0.5c per minute. Using a four-slice toaster will cost 0.67c to 1.1c per minute. Assuming a standard piece of bread takes one to three minutes to cook, the average cost of making a slice of toast is around 0.4c to 3c.

Most two-slice toasters have an 850W power rating. However, high-power toasters, and toasters with wide slots, can consume up to 300W more energy. The more slices a toaster can brown at a time, the more power it will use. For example, four-slice toasters consume between 1400W and 2300W.

How much it costs you to make a piece of toast depends on your toaster’s wattage, as well as how long you cook your toast to get that desired crunchiness. Of course, it will also depend on the price you pay for your electricity. For more on the different power prices around the country, check out our story How Much Are You Paying For Power? In the below tables, we assume a usage rate of 28.7c/kWh.

2-slice toaster electricity cost: wattage of toaster and time it’s used for

850W 900W 950W 1000W 1050W
30 secs 0.21c 0.22c 0.23c 0.24c 0.25c
1 min 0.41c 0.43c 0.45c 0.48c 0.50c
2 min 0.82c 0.86c 0.91c 0.96c 1.00c
3 min 1.23c 1.29c 1.36c 1.44c 1.51c
4 min 1.64c 1.72c 1.82c 1.91c 2.01c
5 min 2.05c 2.15c 2.27c 2.39c 2.51c
Annual cost* $4.49 $4.71 $4.96 $5.26 $5.51

*Assumes toaster used three minutes per day, 365 days a year.

4-slice toaster electricity cost: wattage of toaster and time it’s used for

1400W 1500W 1700W 1850W 2000W 2300W
30 secs 0.35c 0.36c 0.41c 0.44c 0.48c 0.55c
1 min 0.67c 0.72c 0.81c 0.88c 0.96c 1.1c
2 min 1.34c 1.44c 1.63c 1.77c 1.91c 2.2c
3 min 2.01c 2.15c 2.44c 2.65c 2.87c 3.3c
4 min 2.68c 2.87c 3.25c 3.54c 3.83c 4.4c
5 min 3.35c 3.59c 4.07c 4.42c 4.78c 5.5c
Annual cost* $7.33 $7.68 $8.90 $9.69 $10.48 $12.04

*Assumes toaster used three minutes per day, 365 days a year.

Bear in mind that a toaster with a higher wattage rating will cook faster and more evenly than a similar model with fewer watts. This means while low-wattage toasters consume less electricity at any one moment, it will take longer to toast, cancelling out any potential savings. Also consider that if your toaster is used by two, three or even four people each day, the above costs will increase significantly.

cost of using a toaster

What does the dial do on the toaster?

There are two common theories. The first is that the dial controls the heat of the toaster. The second is that it adjusts time, with the numbers around the dial representing minutes.

Well, both are incorrect, albeit the second theory is slightly closer. The toaster dial does control temperature, but the numbers do not represent minutes. These numbers are instead an arbitrary period of time that varies across different toaster models. Confused? Let us elaborate.

When you pull down the lever on a toaster, it stretches back two curled strips of metal. The pieces of metal slowly begin curling up again, until they trigger the component that makes the toast pop up. The dial on a toaster adjusts how far these metal strips must curl to activate the trigger.

So while increasing the dial will increase the toasting time, the amount it increases depends on your toaster. That’s what makes finding the right toaster settings so tricky.

Get a better power deal with Canstar

If you’re concerned about your power usage, consider whether you’re on the best deal for your household. Because you could be getting a better rate. Canstar rates electricity providers, so you can compare your options easily:

Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.

See Our Ratings Methodology

How much power does an oven use?

If you’re not careful, all appliances can waste electricity, but some more so than others. Ovens require a decent amount of power to heat up to high temperatures. For a medium-high heat, Power Shop says 2400W is a reasonable estimate. If you cook a meal for an hour, including preheat time, you can expect to spend around $0.60 (depending on what your $/kWh rate is with your power provider).

cost of using an oven

The cost of running an oven will increase if you open the door frequently to check food. An empty oven sitting at the right temperature for a long period is also a waste of power – so keep an eye on the preheat light. Also, check the seal is in good condition and the fans are working properly for both power efficiency and safety.

How much power does a kettle use?

Those cups of tea can soon add up, too. Especially if you’re boiling a full kettle each time for just one mug. It costs up to 45c per 2L to boil a kettle, so only fill it with the amount of water you need for your hot drinks. Boiling extra water just uses extra power!


Compare electricity providers for free with Canstar!

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