The Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) is the government software engine that calculates commercial EPC ratings and checking for building regulation compliance. Where SBEM is used, it is embedded in the software interface.

SBEM calculates energy useage and carbon dioxide emissions based on a buildings geometry, use, construction, lighting and HVAC (heating ventillation air conditioning. The SBEM software is based on algorithms and the rating is based on what is termed an Asset Rating. It doesn't consider how the building is actually used, just what is physically in place. In England and Wales, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) consider the actual annual energy use.


As of 11 April 2011 SBEM release 4 is now required to be used for EPCs. SBEM 3.5 has been withdrawn and the main EPC software providers including DesignBuilder have integrated this in to their new software release. EPCs created on and after this date will be based on this new software.

Common EPC conventions in practice

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