La Croix L’Hebdo: What gets you up in the morning?
Abdessamad Idzina: To create, to be useful for people and to be able to observe the concrete effects of my action. In the energy renovation sector, utility is both global and local. Schematically, on a planetary scale, each building renovated and suitably insulated represents one less thermal sieve. This overall photo gives the feeling of participating in a collective effort to decarbonize society. But on a daily basis, renovation is a business of contact.
We deploy public policy directly to people and trust is essential. Very often, the difference between before and after the work is impressive. At a minimum, household consumption drops by 30%, sometimes it reaches 80%. You have to realize: some people see their electricity bill go from €1,000 to €200, families find pleasure in living at home, grandparents thank us because before “it was too cold at grandpa and grandma’s” to welcome their grandchildren.
At work, how is it going?
A. I. : The Covid-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine are the two groundswells that are shaking up the energy and raw materials market. Every month, suppliers announce increases of 5 to 7% and report unavailable products. As a renovator, it is up to me and my associates Khalid, Raphaël and David to announce bad news to customers. Not only the bill increases, but, in addition, the site is falling behind schedule.
Then, beyond this economic context, the public policies of the renovation bonus and those of the energy saving certificates (ESC) change very frequently. There is little regulatory continuity: if the operation is complicated to follow for professionals, it is all the more so for individuals.
Who do you trust?
A. I. : Today, companies compete in ingenuity in their advertising campaigns, whether on the Internet or on social networks. For my part, after five years in the construction sector, I am convinced that the best possible communication is that of a satisfied customer and word of mouth that spreads to his friends, family and neighbours.
A scene that has marked you recently?
A. I. : At the beginning of December, I visited a childhood friend at his parents’ in Mantes-la-Jolie, where I am from. I cross the threshold and I realize that my friend’s mother is embarrassed: very quickly, she offers me a bathrobe, a blanket, slippers to warm me up over a glass of tea. The reality is that it’s cold in their house, she knows it and is ashamed to welcome me like this. You realize ? These people worked hard to become owners of a small house, they are now retired and must cover themselves at home. It is a matter of dignity.
Their case is no exception, it is neither more nor less than a situation of fuel poverty – more than 10% of their income goes to energy bills – experienced by millions of French people. When they turn on the heater, people get scared and see euros burning.
Something that would change your life right now?
A. I. : The simplification of administrative procedures would greatly facilitate my work. We evolve on a moving plateau with rules of the game constantly modified with new decrees and deletions of a bonus to create another. On the pitch, it’s the butterfly effect and it’s difficult to project yourself.
And for tomorrow, an idea to change the world?
A. I. : We should already act for yesterday. In 2022, according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, there are still 5 million thermal strainers in France and the creation of 150,000 jobs within three years is necessary to meet the challenges of the energy crisis. As for the sector of new technologies where the State multiplies the incubators and the subsidies, it is necessary to help the companies of the building to hatch more easily.
With lively words and a head full of ideas, Abdessamad Idzina is working to renovate the property that “people hold dearest”: their house. In 2017, he needs concrete, wants to undertake and, above all, wants to be useful around him. With two childhood friends working in the building sector, he co-founded Talo (“house” in Finnish), a company of energy renovation experts based in Carrières-sous-Poissy (Yvelines). In this booming market, the company is growing – 38 employees today – and the sites are linked together. After five years in contact with individuals, the 34-year-old man has developed a detailed knowledge of energy poverty which affects millions of French people.
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