Cost of Alternatives

Last updated on April 8, 2022

When the operating costs of Net Zero buildings and electric vehicles are included in the cost of ownership, the alternatives are less expensive.

Net Zero Houses

Comparison of propane, heating oil and electricity [1]

Net Zero houses are slightly more expensive to purchase but substantially cheaper to operate [2] .

It is estimated that building a Net Zero house costs between 1% to 8% more than conventional construction [3] .

A Net Zero home is normally heated with an electric heat pump, backed up with electric baseboard heaters. New heat pump work to -30 ℃ and backup heat is seldom required. The low energy requirements of a Net Zero house make it economical to heat with electricity, and this will become more so as the carbon tax increases over the next 8 years.

Net Zero homes are connected to the electrical grid via net metering. Electricity produced by the solar panels is consumed in the house. Any excess electricity is sent to the grid where it is banked for future use. At night, electricity is drawn from the bank to supply the house.


Net Zero Ready

Activa – Kitchener

Net Zero Ready houses are built to the same standards as Net Zero homes but do not have the energy source installed (typically solar panels). The house is wired to take solar panels and the roof is designed to take the load of the panels. The energy source can be installed later [4]

The cost of a Net Zero Ready house is competitive with a house built to the Ontario Building Code when the substantial reduction in operating cost is  factored in.

Electric Vehicles

The cost owning an electric car, when the cost of fuel and maintenance are included, is less than the cost of an internal combustion engine car [5]

For an analysis of the cost of owing an electric car, see the Clean energy Canada report “The True Cost” [6] .



The price of gasoline and the cost of owing a gasoline car will increase as the tar sands producers are forced to clean up their industry.