Peter Monfort is our ‘Sparky of The Month’.
Peter Monfort of Monty Electrics and Arena Training Centre speaks to Zano about his pathway into the electrical industry, the electrical trends of 2023 and his favourite products to use.
Name: Peter (Monty) Monfort
Company: Monty Electrics and Arena Training Centre
Why did you become an electrician?
I was a late entrant into the profession after a short stint in the army and more than a decade in secondary school teaching. I started off teaching science and maths before becoming acting deputy head, a qualified OFSTED inspector and working for the teaching agency in capacity as a professional conduct panellist. Having grown disenchanted with state education, I chose to train at Arena Training Centre and started part-time supply teaching, so I could work alongside my good friend Jamie at Tuke Electrical. I have always been practical minded, so learning a trade that combined my background in science was attractive. It was shortly after qualifying that I was asked to do some teaching at Arena Training Centre, so I ended up working as both a lecturer and a sparky. A few years later I ended up buying Arena Training Centre with my business partner Ian Gall.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like being on the tools because I have some amazing colleagues that work with me. The days fly by when you are having a laugh at the same time as grafting. The changing nature of work is also excellent since I have a low boredom threshold, and the variety of jobs we undertake means I remain interested. Being in the classroom is also great fun and the differing abilities of students pushes me to keep on learning and finding new ways to deliver content.
What's the most interesting job you've completed to date?
Building Sheffield’s first AM2 Centre (Sheffield Meadowhall AM2 Centre) was an interesting challenge. The process required significant investment and occurred at a time when COVID struck. Having appointed Neal our lead AM2 assessor, our build plans were hindered by supply issues and lock down. The NET also has exceptionally high standards which, quite rightly, have to be met, so the process of managing the build was exciting as well as frustrating at times.
What are the biggest challenges you face day-to-day?
Finding time to read is my biggest challenge. Our apprentices laugh at me when I say electricians are going to save the world but, aside from politicians waging wars, one of the biggest challenges facing humanity is the delivery of clean power, and electricians are heavily involved in the industries that will achieve this. With this in mind, it is a constant battle to find the time to read, to keep learning, to keep abreast of the changes in the industry and ensure that the training we deliver is realistic and accurate.
What services have been most in demand this year?
On the tools there is growing interest in electric vehicle chargers, heating controls, solar and battery installs. I guess this is pinned to the recent increases in energy costs with customers looking for ways to monitor, control and reduce their energy consumption.
Fun fact about you?
I am a massive metal fan, much to the annoyance of my fellow sparks who generally don’t like Slipknot being played at a volume that makes you bleed.
How did you find out about Zano Controls?
Jamie from Tuke Electrical told me about Zano dimmers and I have used them ever since.
What's your favourite product to use?
I am not precious about brand names. I do like good value, quality and excellent customer support. Zano ticks all these boxes, but I have also had good experiences with Hager, Click Scolmore and Texecom Alarms.
What's the biggest LED dimming problem you've faced?
Using Zano from the start I have had a relatively hassle-free life in terms of installing dimmers. The most annoying lighting issue I have had to deal with was probably a customer who noticed that an LED light continued to glow even after being switched off. I spent quite a bit of time testing and checking for faulty wiring, only resolving it by installing an aftermarket device incorporating a Zener diode.
If you could rewire anyone's house, who would it be?
I would probably choose to wire an old castle that belonged to someone of importance in years gone by. I would quite enjoy refurbishing a castle as I have always fancied living in one and having a massive castle would be a good excuse to have big parties with all my mates.
Think you have what it takes to be our next Sparky of The Month? Be sure to share your installations and projects with us, and it may just be your face appearing in our next Sparky’s Corner! For any project or product enquiries, please call the team on 0345 519 5858 and we will be happy to help.