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Byron Benton: Renewables 100 Policy Institute
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Byron Benton

Training Director, Zero Net Energy Center Alameda County Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee 

Byron Benton is a 25-year veteran electrician and electrical training professional with specialized expertise in energy conservation and renewable energy. As Training Director for the Alameda County Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee he oversees all aspects of the program and training center for IBEW 595 and the Northern California Chapter of NECA. 

For the past two years, Mr. Benton has overseen design and construction of IBEW and NECA's innovative new training facility, the "Zero Net Energy Center" (ZNE Center) in San Leandro, CA. The first retrofit of an existing commercial building that meets the U.S. Department of Energy standards for "zero net energy". The ZNE Center also exceeds the State of California"s 2030 energy efficiency effort, meeting its zero net energy goals an impressive 17 years in advance. Additionally, the ZNE Center exceeds the energy conservation goals of the Obama administration"s Better Buildings Challenge. The project"s renewable elements were commissioned in the fall of 2012 and the building is scheduled for completion in late May 2013. 

Mr. Benton and his team accomplished their goals for the project by utilizing new technologies and advanced building designs and construction methods. The ZNE Center achieves a dramatic and unprecedented 75% reduction in energy use when compared to similar existing commercial buildings in the country. This energy savings lowers the ZNE Center"s carbon footprint by 175 tons of CO2 per year, equal to the carbon emitted by 30 passenger vehicles annually as well as a savings of 500 barrels of oil each year. 

Before joining the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee in 2002, Mr. Benton worked as General Foreman for Cupertino Electric, one of the country"s largest electrical contracting companies. He is a graduate of the IBEW-NECA electrical apprenticeship, where he was recognized as the "Apprentice of the Year". Mr. Benton has also completed the IBEW-NECA Master Instructor program held at the University of Tennessee. He currently is part of three IBEW-NECA National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (NJATC) groups; 1) Education Committee, Building Automation Sub-Committee Chair, 2) Interview Advisory Committee member, 3) National Training Institute Advisory Committee member. Mr. Benton is also nearing completion on another project, his BA degree in Human Development at California State University East Bay.