Please be aware that there is an important change in the new SBEM calculation engine which will be used to create EPCs in England. This change will impact buildings that are largely heated/cooled by electric HVAC systems which include electric panel heaters, split systems, electric radiant heaters, chillers and so on.
The non-domestic EPC rating is based upon the building’s carbon emissions. Each different fuel type has an associated carbon emission factor which largely dictates how good or bad the final EPC rating will be. The carbon emission factor for electricity in previous versions of SBEM has always been comparatively poor, and thus buildings which are heated/cooled using electricity have performed poorly.
However the electricity grid has been de-carbonised over the last few years, and electricity now has an excellent carbon emission factor which is much lower than natural gas. The new 6.1b version of SBEM now reflects this and buildings which use electric HVAC will now typically score much better.
As an example Quidos ran a couple of scenarios on a small 1980s detached building in both the previous version of the software and the new version:
Scenario 1 – Building heated via Electric Panel Heaters
Previous software EPC rating F142
New software EPC rating C75
Scenario 2 – Building heated/cooled via Electric Split System
Previous software EPC rating C61
New software EPC rating B30
As you can see the change to the EPC rating in the new software is considerable. Buildings which previously would not have complied with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards may now do so with the new version of the calculation engine.
Please note that currently the new calculation engine only applies to EPCs in England as it has been introduced to support the new English Building Regulations which are being brought in on 15th June 2022. EPCs in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to use the current versions of SBEM relevant in each country.