Cost of Net Zero Houses

Last updated on April 20, 2022

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

Comparison of propane, heating oil and electricity

Net Zero houses are slightly more expensive to purchase but substantially cheaper to operate [1]. It is estimated that building a Net Zero house costs between 1% to 8% more than conventional construction .

A Net Zero house can be 80% more energy efficient than a conventional house and requires much less energy to heat and cool. Features include:

  • extra insulation
  • triple pane windows
  • air tight
  • properly engineered ventilation and air purification systems
  • high efficiency appliances
  • roof overhang and awnings to reduce warming from the summer sun
  • all electric: water heater, clothes dryer, and stove top. No GHG emissions

A Net Zero home is normally heated with an electric heat pump, backed up with electric baseboard heaters if necessary. 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 .

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.