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News blog19 April 2023



As part of its heritage management efforts, the Auvergne- Rhône-Alpes Region has undertaken an energy savings programme by launching major renovation projects in its secondary schools.

In 2014, the Region hired the SPL (publicly-owned local corporation) OSER (regional energy services operator) to carry out a comprehensive energy retrofit of Aragon Picasso high- school in Givors. The expected reductions in consumption are guaranteedby an Energy Performance Contract (EPC).



The Project in Brief

Energy performance target: Primary energy consumption: -40% - Greenhouse gas emissions: -50%
Duration: 10 years
Investment: €5.5 M Excl. VAT
Type of EPC: Works and services
Contracting authority: SPL OSER
Consortium representative: Energy service company Société Nouvelle Jean Nallet
Type of buildings: 3 buildings (secondary school, day school, and multi-purpose room) built in the 1980s, for a total of 20,997 m2​.



Located between Lyon, Vienne, and Saint-Étienne, Givors is a city of around 20,000 inhabitants. It is part of the Grand Lyon metropolis. The city has two public secondary schools, including Lycée Aragon Picasso, which grew out of the merger between Lycée Louis Aragon and the Pablo Picasso vocational school. As for all establishments of this kind, the Region is responsible for the building’s maintenance as the contracting authority for the work undertaken.


The renovation of secondary schools, a regional competence

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is pursuing its regional sustainable development efforts with the Territorial Climate Air and Energy Plan (SEAP).

As part of its remit and energy transition policy, the Region is renovating the schools it is responsible for. The Energy Performance Contract (EPC), which guarantees energy savings and reductions in CO2 emissions following a renovation, is an invaluable tool for the success of these projects. The secondary schools being renovated are chosen based on the potential energy savings and the need for renovation of their building envelopes and technical facilities.

The renovation of this school contributes to the targets of the Grand Lyon, which has also implemented a Territorial Climate Air and Energy Plan.




Studies conducted for Aragon Picasso high-school in Givors were completed at the end of 2016, following the signature between the SPL and the Region of a 10-year, design, construction, operation, and maintenance (CREM) EPC. Its results guarantee corresponds to a 40% reduction in energy consumption and a 50% decrease in CO2 emissions, with 11.6% of energy needs coming from renewable energy.

The objective of the retrofit is to improve energy efficiency and comfort in summer as well as the building’s longevity. The work also includes functional improvements (renovation of the entrance to the school, demolition of spaces that were energy inefficient and not very functional, etc.), and improvements to indoor air quality.

Work was done on the building (walls, flat roofs and workshop roofs, joineries, flooring, the glass atrium), ventilation, lighting, heat distribution, and the production of photovoltaic electricity.

Energy consumption is strongly influenced by the behaviours of a building’s occupants, regardless of the structure and type of building. To achieve energy savings in public buildings, it is critical to make users aware of their energy consumption and help them reduce it.

Starting in 2021, the work should enable costsavings of €60 k Excl. VAT/year.(Price of energy in 2013 taking into account extra maintenance costs.2 3,255 MWh/year before the work). The estimated primary energy consumption is 1,933 MWh/year ( €82 k Incl. VAT in energy costs - €146 k Incl. VAT before the work - not including the resale of photovoltaic electricity), the annual CO2 emissions are estimated at 9.8 CO2e/m2 (19.6 kg CO2e/m2 before the work) and production of photovoltaic electricity at 230 MWhPE/year.




December 2016 - Contractualisation: Launch of the EPC

July 2017 - September 2019 - Maintenance during the work phase

September 2019 - March 2012 - Maintenance with commitment during the probationary period

> March 2021 - December 2026 - Operation: Maintenance under full guarantee


The project was able to monetise Energy Savings Certificates (ESC - system in which public authorities require energy sellers (electricity, gas, heating and cooling, domestic heating oil, etc.) to achieve energy savings by actively promoting energy efficiency among their customers and other energy consumers (households, local governments, professionals). The Region signed a 20-year emphyteutic lease with the SPL. The work is being paid for through this lease. The Region is reimbursing this amount in the form of an annual rent that includes pricing for the work, the fees, and maintenance.

76% of the services in the contract are being carried out by small and medium-sized companies from the region. The consortium representative, Société nouvelle Jean Nallet, is working with the architectural firm Dassonville & Dalmais, the design office Sintec Ingénierie, and Eolya (maintenance).

The contract calls for 1,690 work hours to be done by participants in professional integration programmes.


The following energy retrofit work was carried out:

  • Spot renovation of thermally poor walls and insulation of accessible low floors

  • Installation of flat roofs in the day school and multi-purpose room, insulation of roofs in Aragon’s workshops

  • Replacement of the joineries in the day school and workshops with high-performance joineries (made of aluminium), replacement of the glass atrium with a central lobby and new entrance

  • Renovation of the heating and distribution system (replacement of the pumps and regulation, desludging, balancing, and installation of thermostatic valves)

  • Renovation of the ventilation (double-flow in the classrooms, multi-purpose room, and cafeteria; single-flow in the offices — with presence detection — and restrooms)

  • Photovoltaic stations integrated into the building (99 kWp)

  • Improvement of lighting (LED lamps with presence detection in the circulation areas and restrooms of the day school)

An “energy agency” within the school has been created. Various educational actions are being taken around the energy retrofit: raising awareness among all users, use of instruments, identification of additional work, etc.

The energy retrofit project also includes a reconfiguration of the school’s entrance. This new entrance, in response to the recent merger of the Aragon and Picasso schools, includes a new central lobby as a gathering place for students.

A bonus of around 5% of the cost of the work will be paid once the targets are met for a full year.

Otherwise, the service provider is subject to penalties that increase each year as long as the targets set by the EPC are not met. They correspond to the amount of excess consumption the first year of operation, double this amount the second year, and five times the amount in the following years if the building is unable to reach the targets set.

The verifications are done according to the IPMVP protocol (International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol: a method to measure energy savings in the building sector). The adjustment formula is based on degree days (=difference between the outside temperature and a base temperature). Conditions under which the baseline situation may be revised have been established in the event of a change in use.



The work is ongoing and will finish in September 2019.



The reorganisation of collective areas (demolition of the glass atrium and creation of a central lobby) is the most complex part in that it is the most inconvenient for the school’s occupants.

This work will therefore mostly be done during school holidays. The asbestos abatement also complicates things.




An ongoing experiment...

The projects carried out by the SPL OSER include a guarantee of energy efficiency. Dedicated monitoring tools have been developed internally.


Information and Contacts

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Énergie Environnement (AURA-EE)

Laurent Chanussot - head of Sustainable Buildings
Tel : +33 4 78 37 29 14
Email :


Document produced by AURA-EE with the support of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, ADEME and the European Union.


Publication date
19 April 2023