What is Toast Electric?
Toast Electric is a not-for-profit (or non-profit) electricity supplier based in Wellington. While it functions like any other electricity company for most of its customers, the difference is that any profit Toast makes is used to support households experiencing energy hardship. This is done through the company’s Energy Wellbeing program.
What is the Energy Wellbeing program?
The profits that Toast Electric make are reinvested into its Energy Wellbeing program. The program is designed to support households experiencing financial/energy hardships. It provides eligible households with:
- Guaranteed lower power prices than their previous provider
- Power bills capped at an affordable level over winter
- Free items, such as draught snakes, LED lights, mould cleaning kits, etc
- A personal Home Energy Check by a Sustainability Trust healthy homes advisor. This includes access to free or subsidised home upgrades, referrals to other support services and lots of helpful tips to create a warmer drier home
Households eligible for the program are referred through partner budget advice agencies in the Wellington region. While there is no list of who these partners are, if you feel you are at risk of financial and/or energy hardship, you can find the details of your local budget advice agency here, and ask if they partner with Toast Electric.
Otherwise, you can drop Toast Electric an email at email@example.com to enquire.
→Related article: How to Save on Your Electricity Plan
What’s on offer from Toast Electric?
For standard customers, Toast offers two simple plans – one for low users and one for standard users. Both plans feature time-of-use pricing, with half-price power from 9pm-7am every night. It also has a solar buyback option (10c/kWh).
You can find the current rates on offer from Toast on its website. It may pay to compare these rates with those of your existing provider, or even with other providers on the market.
Furthermore, all Toast customers can get a free in-person home check once they’ve been on board for three months. This check involves a thorough examination of your home’s build, as well as a discussion on how you currently use your appliances and power.
You’ll then get a personalised action plan with suggestions for improving the health of your home, making it more energy-efficient, and lowering your carbon footprint. Toast can also help with quotes for insulation, heating, ventilation and other interventions, if necessary.
Is Toast the cheapest option?
For those eligible for the Energy Wellbeing program, Toast guarantees the lowest rates. For everyone else, Toast may or may not be the cheapest option. But it does state it will always be competitively priced.
When I did a quick check for a family member’s address in Lower Hutt, I found Toast was competitive with several other providers for the same address.
However, it may be worth remembering that when you sign up for Toast you are supporting a not-for-profit provider. So if that strongly aligns with your values, you may feel more comfortable not necessarily paying the lowest rates, but knowing that your money is going towards supporting those in your community.
How can I sign up for Toast Electric?
For now, Toast is only serving the Wellington region. This includes Hutt Valley, Wellington City, and Porirua up to Paremata. There are plans to expand up to the Kapiti Coast later in 2022, and while no official plans to expand further as of now, it is a possibility. You can send Toast an email if you’d like to stay in the know if/when more regions are added.
You can sign up in minutes, or find out more, via the Toast website here.
Who is behind Toast Electric?
While Toast Electric is new to the market, it is powered by Sustainability Trust, a social enterprise that has been offering sustainable living solutions throughout the Wellington region for 20 years.
Compare electricity providers with Canstar Blue
If you are looking to change electricity providers, or are unsure if you are getting the best deal, Canstar Blue can help. We rate NZ power companies for customer satisfaction and value for money, see the table below for some of the results, or you can click on the button below for the full results of our survey.
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.
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Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in April 2023, published in June 2023.
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About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.