California Utility Allowance Calculator (CUAC)
New Construction Submission Requirements: Application Stage
The certification and submission requirements below apply to new construction project owners requesting the use of CUAC estimate utility allowances. The CUAC must be prepared by a qualified energy analyst as defined in TCAC Regulation Section 10322(h)(21). All CUAC estimates shall be completed by an independent third party and shall be at the expense of the owner.
- The original submittal report signed by the qualified professional energy analyst should include the date the CUAC estimate was prepared, the project name for which the estimate was prepared, and each utility type and amount, by bedroom size.
- The name, address and phone number of the analyst who prepared and certified to the accuracy of the CUAC estimate (NOTE: the preparer and certifying analyst shall be the same person).
- Proof of the energy analystís qualifications to use the CUAC, including a current California Association of Building Energy Consultantís (CABEC) Certified Energy Analyst (CEA) 2016 certification number and a California Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) certification number.
- Energy Modeling: New construction: An energy model shall be completed using the residential performance module (for low rise buildings) or the non-residential performance module (for high rise buildings) in the current version of Energy Pro (for 2018 submittals, that is version 7). Use of other building performance software or modules is not acceptable.
- The weighted averaging worksheet or the adiabatic surfaces worksheet.
- A statement that the energy analyst and the owner of the project, the project applicant, and the projectís principals (general partners, members, etc.), are not related parties as defined by TCAC Regulation 10302(gg) and the Internal Revenue Code section 267(b) and 707(b).
- A statement that the CUAC estimate is based solely on the professional building energy modeling and analysis completed by the qualified professional building analyst signing the CUAC estimate.
- A copy of the completed California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) tariff eligibility analysis done as required by the CUAC Userís Guide (if applicable).
- A copy of the California Energy Commissionís CF-1R compliance document for the project.
New Construction Submission Requirements: 60 Days Prior to Issuance of Certificate of Occupancy*
Owners proposing to utilize the CUAC for determining the utility allowance in lieu of the public housing authorityís utility allowance numbers must submit their CUAC package and receive approval from TCAC prior to lease-up of the tenants. The ownerís request to utilize the CUAC must be received by TCAC no later than 60 days prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for all buildings in the project. *If you are unable to finalize CUAC documentation prior to this date, the CUAC can be approved (prior to issuance of the tax Form 8609); however, you must use the public housing authority utility allowance for the first year and notice tenants of the change (see FAQ #29).
The cost of each quality control review is dependent on factors including the complexity of the review and the number of issues identified by the quality control reviewer. Each review cost is between $500 and $2,500. Project owners must submit a $500 fee to TCAC with their CUAC documentation and will receive an invoice for any additional costs due (up to $2,500 total) once the CUAC utility allowance is approved. During the review the projectís energy analyst will be contacted with any questions about the CUAC modeling or documentation, including requests to correct errors. Once the review is complete and the CUAC utility allowance is approved, the quality control firm will provide written documentation of the accuracy of the CUAC report to TCAC, and TCAC will notify the project owner in writing, including an invoice for any additional amount owing.
Energy analysts submitting CUAC estimates for new construction projects shall confirm the energy efficiency measures of projectsí units and buildings as required by the applicable Building Energy Efficiency Standards, Title 24, Part 6 (the Standards). If unable to confirm the energy efficiency measures actually used in the completed units and building(s), the energy analyst shall use conservative default assumptions needed to meet the minimum requirements under the appropriate Standards. The energy analyst shall also identify: the utility provider(s), the appropriate tariffs for gas and electricity, building orientation, the building(s) unit mix, unit floor plan layout(s), and apartment features. This shall be done through direct observation (including field testing or sampling at a minimum rate of 1:7 units), official documentation, or third-party resources. All CUAC estimates shall include all items listed above under Submission Requirements: Application Stage, as well as the following additional items:
- Architectural drawings for proposed project
- Title 24 Report (CF-1R or PERF-1 compliance documentation) and CSVís (hour-by-hour energy end use values) that were used in the analysis
- Data Collection Spreadsheet
- CUAC weighted average worksheet (data from Energy Pro (EP) or CBECC-Res Report with monthly averages computed per bedroom type. Use EP version 6 for buildings permitted before January 1, 2017 and EP version 7 for buildings permitted on or after January 1, 2017). Note: this worksheet is not required if the analysis is performed using the ďadiabatic surfaces method.Ē
- Live files (i.e., .bld files for Energy Pro) from the energy modeling software
- A completed HERS verification from the energy analyst and evidenced by a HERS verification report that the project has all the measures required by the Energy Pro (EP) or CBECC-Res analysis. Use EP version 6 for buildings permitted before January 1, 2017 and EP version 7 for buildings permitted on or after January 1, 2017.
- Bills of lading for all appliances
- If high efficacy lighting is installed, TCAC requires verification by either (1) a HERS Rater conducting a site visit, or (2) a letter or report submitted by the HERS Rater, which includes photographs evidencing all of the lighting installed in a few units of each apartment type, at a minimum.
- If CARE rates are being used in the analysis, documentation must be provided verifying that the projectís tenants (will) all meet the utilityís requirements for CARE rates.
- If PV is included in the analysis, documentation demonstrating how the PV numbers in the CUAC submittal were derived. In addition, the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) agreement or the PPA from the utility provider must be provided in order to determine what percentage serves tenants and what percentage serves the common area.
- If PV is included, documentation showing that the PV system has been approved/accepted by the utility for activation.
- Explanation of any testing or sampling done to confirm the constructed units and/or building(s) features.
- A list of all third party resources used to confirm the constructed buildings features, including copies of the building permits and the name and phone number of any HERS rater(s) who conducted review(s) of the projectís units and /or building(s).
- Copies of any other documentation relied upon to confirm the energy efficiency measures used in the modeling of the constructed units and/or building(s).
- Copies of any completed residential compliance forms (CF-1R, CF-2R, CF-3R, etc.) for the projectís units and/or building(s) that were completed at the design phase and upon final construction.
- A list and justification of any conservative default assumptions (Title 24, Part 6 Standards) that were used by the energy analyst in the event the energy analyst was unable to independently confirm the building(s) energy efficiency measures.
- TCAC and the quality control reviewer may ask for additional documentation to confirm energy efficiency features.
Note that these requirements are for verification of CUAC analyses. Verification of other energy efficiency or sustainable building measures may be required depending upon the projectís scoring criteria.
For specific questions regarding the CUAC, please contact Compliance Program Manager, Mayra Lozano at (916) 654-6340 or by email.
If for any reason, a new construction project owner initially establishes tenant utility allowances from a public housing authority (PHA) utility allowance schedule, a notice must be provided to tenants informing them of the change to a CUAC utility allowance at least 90 days prior to the effective date (Treas. Reg. 1.42-10) and include the amount of the tenant rent increase. Supporting documentation should be available to tenants or their representatives upon request at an easily accessible location. Please see the TCAC Compliance Manualís utility allowance chapter. Utility allowances may be changed once per calendar year and always require a 90 day tenant notice.
An annual update of the CUAC is required (Treas. Reg. 1.42-10(c)(2)) and should be submitted to TCAC. A fee is not required for the annual update as long as there have been no changes to the equipment or envelope requiring a new model.