Calorimeters for dose measurement at low-energy electron accelerator energies (80-120 keV) are described. Three calorimeters with different characteristics were designed and their dose response and measurement uncertainties were characterized. The heated air between the beam exit window and the calorimeter absorber influences significantly the response of the calorimeter and a thermal model was applied to quantify this effect. All three calorimeters are capable of measuring absolute dose, and can thus be used for calibration of other dosimeters. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.