Abstract The stability in humid environment of low pressure chemical vapor deposited boron doped zinc oxide (LPCVD ZnO:B) used as transparent conductive oxide in thin film silicon solar cells is investigated. Damp heat treatment (exposure to humid and hot atmosphere) induces a degradation of the electrical properties of unprotected LPCVD ZnO:B layers. By combining analyses of the electrical and optical properties of the films, we are able to attribute this behavior to an increase of electron grain boundary scattering. This is in contrast to the intragrain scattering mechanisms, which are not affected by damp heat exposure. The ZnO stability is enhanced for heavily doped films due to easier tunneling through potential barrier at grain boundaries.