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Net Zero Homes


What is a Net Zero Energy Home?

Imagine owning a home that produces as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. That’s what our Net Zero Energy Homes will do, depending on occupant behaviour. In designing the Net Zero Home program for Doug Tarry Homes, we set a goal to design and build a home that was a decade ahead of today’s current building practice.

More importantly, we designed the home specifications to be simple. No spaceship in the basement, no complicated control systems that take years to learn and no high tech components that no one understands. SIMPLE.

In order to create a net-zero energy home, there are three basic elements or steps to consider when designing and building the house:

  • Reduce the home’s energy requirements.
  • Include renewable energy systems to provide the amount of energy required to operate the home.
  • Operate the home efficiently.

Owning a Net Zero Home can offer a wide range of benefits, such as

  • Low utility bills
  • A more comfortable living space
  • A greener choice for the environment
  • Better future

Making the decision to purchase a Net Zero Energy Home will provide your family with years of enjoyment of a healthier, safer home with a more comfortable living space, with fewer drafts, more even interior temperatures, fewer humidity issues and better indoor air quality. These homes are also more durable, so there are fewer long term maintenance costs and they are future proofed against rising energy costs.

In fact when you compare the additional cost of building a Net Zero Home to a home built to the Ontario Building Code it can actually be less costly overall for the combined mortgage and utility costs off the Net Zero home, meaning it is a more affordable choice overall.

Net Zero Homes are also more environmentally sustainable with lower greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, more responsible use of resources and reducing the household’s overall carbon footprint.

What is different from our regular homes?

  • A slightly higher level of insulation in our walls, basements, basement slabs and ceilings, but with all the same materials we normally use.
  • The Dettson Smart Ducting HVAC System, for smaller ducting, better air flow and greater occupant comfort.
  • Triple glazed windows, rather than double glazed and low solar coatings as required.
  • The same ERV manufacturer (VanEE) as we normally use, but with an ECM motor we call this our “fresh air machine”.
  • A high performance water heater along with a recirc system for instant hot water.
  • A Drain Water Heat Recovery Pipe to capture waste water heat.
  • Solar (PV) panels that feed excess electricity to the grid for net metering, providing credits on your electricity bill

Since the pilot in 2015, the Net Zero Home Labelling Program has grown to include over 600 labelled homes to date. Each home labelled and each new Qualified Net Zero Participant makes the program stronger. The Program is an industry-developed, self-funded, voluntary program that does not receive any direct financial support for labelling homes.

Participation in this program as a Qualified Net Zero Builder offers recognition as an industry leader for those delivering the next generation of high-performance housing to Canadian home buyers. By meeting our Program requirements, Qualified Net Zero Builders have proven their ability to build homes to the highest performance level in the country. The CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program is proud to provide our Qualified Net Zero Builders with a strong and recognizable brand, leading-edge education, and ongoing program innovation – including RD&D – such as Net Zero MURBs and Net Zero Renovations.


The Future of Home Building

As of January 1st 2019, all new homes built by Doug Tarry Homes will be built to Net Zero Ready as the minimum standard. This is the final outcome of being committed to this goal specifically while on the path of continual improvement over the last decade.

But why is this even a goal? Perhaps a better question might be why all new homes are not being built to this standard. Many governments are now targeting 2030 as the date for when all homes must be built to this requirement.

Let’s face it, we are having more frequent and more extreme weather events. Whether you believe in climate change, or simply feel that the earth is warming naturally, the outcome remains the same. From longer, hotter summer heat waves to wintertime polar vortex events the evidence is growing that our weather is changing and our homes need to be able to withstand these extremes.

So why build to Net Zero Ready? Isn’t a home built to the Ontario Building Code (OBC) good enough. Yes and no. If you were to build a home in California to the OBC, it would be Net Zero Ready and be one of the best built homes in that state. But except being up in the high mountains, California does not have winter, at least not the way we experience it here in Southwestern Ontario.

But Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes are a significant improvement over a home built to the OBC. These homes are much tighter, far more energy efficient, have significantly lower energy usage (lower utility bills) and are more resilient that an OBC built home. With increased insulation, more efficient mechanicals and better windows, these homes are also quieter, healthier, and far more comfortable.

Can I afford a Net Zero Ready Home? This is an excellent discussion to have with your financial institution and more of them are now recognizing that the dramatically lower operating costs more than offset the added cost on the mortgage of a Net Zero Ready Home.

So more comfortable, healthier, durable and energy efficient homes that costs less to run. And one last point! Lowering your energy footprint on the environment and helping to give HOPE to our grandchildren’s future. That seems like a good deal.

Download our Future of Home Building print out here.

Have questions? Contact us today for more information on a Net Zero Home.



Overall the home purchase went exceptionally well. We are pleased with the home and do not have any complaints. If there were any small things that we were unhappy with the staff at Doug Tarry (both office and tradesfolks) were always polite, quick at getting back to us and very knowledgeable.

Gord and Karen

We have finally moved in over the weekend and are still settling in. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to Doug Tarry Homes and especially you for helping us out and guiding us throughout the entire process.

We greatly appreciate all your sincere efforts in helping us build our dream home. On behalf of our family, thank you once again and I look forward to seeing you around!


Great experience through every stage of the process. Very knowledgeable and organized. Confident we are receiving a very high-quality home. Thanks DT Homes.

Happy Doug Tarry Home Owner

As a family purchasing a new home, quality, comfort, energy efficiency & price were important to us. Doug Tarry Ltd. met and exceeded these needs.

Wayne, Angela & family

Our experience dealing with Doug Tarry Homes, from the moment we were greeted at the model home, to our closing date when we picked up our keys was a positive one! The decision to build with Tarry’s was easy because of their long standing reputation for quality, and a commitment to the environment. What was a bonus was the service orientation of all their staff. Questions and concerns were addressed quickly, the designer thoughtfully guided us through all our decorating selections, and all staff were courteous, friendly and genuinely cared. Without hesitation we would recommend building with DTL!

Rebecca and Gary

After purchasing many new builders homes, the Doug Tarry experience was by far the most enjoyable. With the team’s recommendations, ideas and perfectionism, we ended up with a home that far surpasses any of our expectations. When we woke up after the first night in our new home, we both looked at each other and said “this feels like home”. We have never had that feeling after the first night in any of our previous homes. After 6 months we still at times say to each other ” Man I love this house”. Great work Doug and crew.

Borot & Petra

This home is everything we dreamed it would be. Fits our family’s needs perfectly.

Satisfied Doug Tarry Home Owner

I know that corners will not be cut, and the home will be built to last a lifetime

A Happy Home Owner

Thank you Doug Tarry Homes for our wonderful home. Throughout the planning and building stages we found everyone we dealt with to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Any concerns or issues were promptly dealt with in a professional manner. The quality of our home, both inside and outside, is exceptional. (Even after one year we haven’t found a nail pop!) You go the extra mile and it shows. We would not hesitate to recommend Doug Tarry Homes to anyone.

Heather and Gary

Our expectations of a new is exceeded by Doug Tarry (design-quality construction and workmanship) and an exceptional support staff

Happy Home Owner

This was our first time building a home. Doug Tarry Ltd made the experience enjoyable and so easy. Each member of the company was very approachable and easy to talk to. They took us step-by-step through the process of building a home and making our dreams come true. Thank you to the Doug Tarry group.

Jinder and Amy

We loved the quality and building experience that we had with Doug Tarry Homes so much that we did it twice! From the quality of the construction, to the personalized help in making selections, we couldn’t have asked for more. Even after we took possession the follow up and communication to ensure that we were happy with our new home was thorough. We would definitely build with Doug Tarry homes again!

Ryan and Tara

My husband and I are retired seniors with very specific needs in mind for our retirement home. We found these and more in a Doug Tarry home in St. Thomas. From a well-designed floor plan to an exceptionally well-built house, we couldn’t be more pleased with our decision. Before, during and after the construction phase, the Tarry staff were extremely efficient and always ready to help with advice and recommendations. We’re very happy and comfortable in our new house. Well done Doug Tarry Homes!

Don & Kathy

We chose Doug Tarry Limited as the builder for our custom home because of their reputation for quality workmanship. Having our new home built at the same location as our current home we were able to witness first-hand the skill, quality, and pride of workmanship that each tradesman working on our home put into their work. We have had so many positive comments on the design and layout of our home, as well as the quality of the products used within the complete design. We cannot be happier with the finished product, and we highly recommend Doug Tarry Limited to anyone thinking of building a home.

Lisa and David

I knew our new house was energy efficient but not that much! At the time of construction, we decided to insulate the basement floor instead of me getting a cold storage cellar. We have a very efficient furnace with an ERV unit. It wasn’t that cold in December, but even with all the kids home for 2-3 weeks over Christmas, our gas bill was just under $40! Love it.

Shout out to Doug Tarry Homes for being a leader in the new home industry for wonderful construction and environmental consciousness.

Satisfied Customer

Patty and I have purchased 4-new homes over the course of our evolving status; from raising two children to being empty-nesters. Without a doubt, Doug Tarry Homes has been ‘far and a way’ the most professional builder that we have had the pleasure to deal with. We’ve been very impressed with the quality and the attention to details with our home. The most obvious difference has been the professionalism of the Doug Tarry personnel. Their help and assistance through the various stages of the construction to the final delivery and accommodation with our move-in requirements was outstanding. The differences with Doug Tarry Homes continued throughout the immediate 12-month period after our move-in date by completing the scheduled follow-up items on a timely basis. I only wish that the customer satisfaction formula used by Doug Tarry Homes was utilized by other business enterprises.

Don and Pat

Confidence in a Doug Tarry home knowing him, and his commitment-I don’t have to do much, he’s thought of it all!!

Another Happy Home Owner

We were into our new house yesterday! What a wonderful surprise to see the welcome gift basket!! We have been so impressed all along with Doug Tarry homes, from the people (you!), the quality of the house, the design, the materials, the basement, the air and temperature of the house, everything!! Liam used to build houses and he has been blown away by everything we’ve seen and experienced with Doug Tarry homes. He’s not easily impressed either and has a keen critical eye and he is over the top happy with everything, as am I. So a big thank you Michele, for everything. You’ve been so patient with us right from the beginning, when we first showed up over a year ago when we first started looking at the area in St Thomas.

Trish and Liam

I’m now living in my second Doug Tarry built home. When I bought my first home, I wasn’t thinking about resale, but being able to advertise a “Doug Tarry built home” really gave me a selling advantage.

This current home is actually my fifth new home I’ve lived in. I wouldn’t hesitate to build again with Doug Tarry. The standards for the home – insulation, framing, kitchen, plumbing, etc – are very high compared with other builders. This allowed me to put some additional funds into some extras, such as recessed lighting and hardwood flooring. The Doug Tarry group work very much as a team, from the home plan design, interior selections to sod. You are very much supported in the entire building process, and the follow-up for any issues after you move in is excellent.


I love my new semi home!  The transition from selling my family home to 3 Benjamin has been very pleasant and I owe that to the people I have come in contact with, especially Michele, Jason, Daryl, Lori and Elaine.  Your CoConstruct programme is very helpful and efficient.  Anything that needed to be addressed has had followup. 


We just wanted to let Mr. Tarry know that our experience with every single member of his team has been nothing but amazing.  We started looking for a new home 2 years ago and spoke to Amanda Joiner here in Strathroy at the open house.  We left her office that day 2 years ago and we knew DTH was a perfect company for us to trust with our future. Amanda made us feel  comfortable and she was very helpful in every step of the way.  We can’t say enough good things about her.  We bought one of your quick possession homes on Rushby St and could not be happier.  Jason took us through the house for our final inspection, and again he was amazing.  So friendly and informative.  Took his time going over everything and explaining it all and answering questions.  We also met Joe, I believe he is the site supervisor.  Joe, again so friendly and goes out of his way to make sure we where happy. Daryl and Laurie in your customer care centre are phenomenal.  They have been nothing short of amazing.  I’m sure you probably realize that you have an amazing team working for you but sometimes when you hear it from an outsider it means a little more.  So we applaud you Mr. Tarry for assembling such a great group of people to represent DTH.  They are doing an amazing job for you and treating all of your customers like they are family and we appreciate it.  Thank you to all at DTH for making our experience nothing but AMAZING.


Living in Nashville TN for just shy of 3 decades I decided to return to my hometown of St Thomas to semi retire.  I had never considered building a home especially with living at such a distance during a build.  Upon meeting Michelle at the showhouse in Miller’s Pond, visiting the décor centre with amazing choices and learning more about the quality and energy efficiency of Doug Tarry homes I jumped in with both feet during a week visit.  I purchased the lot, set my design choices in motion and left to wrap things up in Nashville leaving my build in the capable hands of Doug and his teams.  I opted for the Glenwood and from the day I moved in I haven’t had one moment of regret.  I’m so happy with every aspect of my home, the quality of the build and fabulous customer service. I love my new neighbourhood and have made some great friends.  Thank you for making my move a much smoother transition than I could hope for.