In partnership with the State Treasurer’s Office, the California Energy Commission (CEC) updates and maintains the CUAC. There are two versions. The MS Access CUAC is a stand-alone Microsoft Access (MS) program with a user interface allowing different inputs for new and existing projects. Since newly constructed homes are already required to demonstrate compliance with the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code) using the compliance software (CBECC), the new CUAC is incorporated into CBECC. The CBECC-CUAC is intended to be a process improvement for affordable housing developers and are expected to eliminate manual importing of results from CBECC into the separate stand-alone MS-based tool. The CBECC-CUAC software brings the CUAC under the care of the more substantial development and user support team responsible for CBECC.
The CUAC is a tool designed to calculate project-specific utility allowances for low income housing projects. As a result of recommendations from the New Solar Homes Partnership's Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, California Energy Commission (CEC) staff working through its contractor, KEMA, began development of the CUAC in 2007.
The approved energy consumption software model can be used by qualified professionals approved by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) to calculate project specific utility allowances.
On January 25, 2009, the CTCAC approved the CUAC as the energy consumption model software for California for the 2009 tax credit funding cycle. The CUAC can be used by qualified professionals approved by the CTCAC to calculate project-specific utility allowances.
The CUAC is intended for affordable housing new construction and possibly substantial rehabilitation projects. Qualified buildings must include energy efficiency improvements and/or have onsite photovoltaic generation (PV) and be built to the 2005 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards or beyond. The CUAC is not appropriate for use with existing projects built to older energy efficiency standards (before 2005) or to projects that do not include energy efficiency or PV upgrades.
The CEC works with state and local housing authorities and funding agencies with regulatory authority over affordable housing projects. Agencies examine the potential use of the CUAC for determining project specific utility allowances that include energy efficiency or PV upgrades, including rules adopted by agencies to assure that the CUAC is used by qualified professionals.
CUAC Software Download
CUAC UPDATE APRIL 2022
As of April 18, 2022, CUAC includes updated and corrected (since March 14) utility tariffs. If using CUAC Version 2.0.0, update only the look up tables to prevent losing your project files. Once updated, the upper right will reflect Tool 2.0.0 (11/30/20), Tables 1.2.2 (4/18/22).
If you have trouble viewing or accessing the document files, please contact the CEC. For process questions, see Section 1.8 of the CUAC User Guide (available with software download files) for Treasurer’s Office contact information.
MS Access CUAC:
CUAC Lookup Tables (ZIP file, 1.4 KB)
Last updated: April 18, 2022
Updated version of MS Access CUAC 2.0.0 users
Downloading Instructions: In C:\CUAC, replace the file CUACTool_LookupTables.accdb (1 KB)
California Utility Allowance Calculator (ZIP file, 3 MB)
Version 2.0.0 (11/30/20)
Last Updated: April 18, 2022
The updated version of MS Access CUAC requires a Windows-based PC and Microsoft® Access®. A Macintosh-based version is not expected to be created.
Downloading Instructions: Create a folder in your C drive and name it "CUAC." Right-click the link above to download the CUAC.zip file into the "CUAC" folder you've just created on your C drive. Unzip the files from the CUAC zip file (NOTE: if your file structure shows C:\CUAC\CUAC, move the files up one level to c:\CUAC and double click on CUACTool-Rev2-0-0.accdb).
MS Access CUAC Frequently Asked Questions
I cannot get the CUAC to start. What could be wrong?
Likely your program is in a subfolder inside another subfolder (unzipping files often creates an additional folder). If windows explorer shows CUAC in C:\CUAC\CUAC, move the files up one level to c:\CUAC. Then double click on CUACTool-Rev2-0-0.accdb.
How can I get my existing projects into the new CUAC?
Click on “Transfer Projects” on the main CUAC screen and follow the instructions.
How do I print the CUAC forms?
All options affecting printing are across the top of the main screen, starting from the right.
- Check the selected printer for the device.
- Select output as either printer or preview (you cannot print from preview).
- Select from SF (submittal signature form), PD (project details), or Both to print.
- Press QC Save to complete the quality control process.
- Press Draft (Draft and Final are essentially “print” buttons with Final locking all future changes). NOTE: If Adobe PDF is your “Printer” you will need to name both forms. The default names are always the same.
Can I copy data from an existing project into a new project?
Yes. Pick “Start New Project” and give it a unique name. Select QC save. (The quality control part of the program will notify you what data is missing). Then select “Copy to this Project” and identify in the “From” field (using the arrow) the project from which to copy. The program fills in the current project as the “To” .project. Last, pick “Copy Project” and confirm (because if there is any data in this project it will be replaced.
Can I delete an apartment type that is no longer included (e.g., studio) from an existing project?
To remove an apartment type (or installed PV system), find the item to delete, single left-click in the column to the left of the name, press the delete key on your computer keyboard, and confirm the deletion.
Is there a user guide for CUAC? Who can I contact if I have CUAC questions?
There is a new User Guide available. If you have questions that cannot be answered from the “Instructions” included with CUAC, the 2021 user guide, or have other questions about CUAC, send an email to CUAC@energy.ca.gov.
Who do I contact if I have questions about the TCAC or CDLAC process?
The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee website includes information about the CUAC program and process at www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/cuac/index.asp. The California Debt Allocation Committee website is www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/.