The smart building rating

A digital tool designed to scale demand flexibility; a metric that measures a building’s potential to flex its demand


Future energy systems will be underpinned by buildings that are both energy efficient and able to provide energy flexibility. This combination will allow households to use less energy overall and shift their use to times when it is abundant, clean and cheap – cutting energy bills and reducing system costs for everyone. The prize is clear, yet no policy mechanism exists to drive the transformation needed. The ‘Smart Building Rating’ (SBR) is designed to complement a reformed EPC, as part of a suite of metrics that can drive us towards an efficient and smart building stock.

By measuring a building’s capacity for flexibility, or its “smartness”, it places a value on flexibility that engages consumers and incentivises property upgrades. To prepare buildings for “smart” electrification, they need to be equipped with low-carbon technologies capable of delivering flexibility, such as EV chargers, heat pumps, smart thermal stores, batteries and solar.


There is widespread industry support for the introduction of a building flexibility metric. In partnership with Energy Systems Catapult, we launched an initial policy proposal in October 2023, which was backed by former Chair of the Net Zero Review, Chris Skidmore, and a cross-industry coalition, including E3G, Energy Savings Trust, Good Energy, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the UK Green Buildings Council, and more.

To demonstrate the real-world value of the SBR, workstreams currently include:

  • Methodology development, to improve flexibility estimates.
  • Testing a consumer facing tool, allowing consumers to generate their own SBR
  • Running a trial with SSEN to improve asset visibility, demand forecasting and modelling.

Our papers


The amount of flexibility needed in the UK energy system by 2040/50

According to middling forecasting. We currently have 60GW, of which 55GW comes from gas.


Potential savings from flexibility in the UK over the period 2025-2050

According to Centre for Net Zero modelling of fully flexible heating and transport systems.


Potential savings for individual households on wholesale electricity costs in 2040

Cornwall Insight modelling for Smart Energy GB found individual households engaged in flexibility can save over 52% on wholesale electricity costs in 2040.