Energy Efficiency on and International Scale: Egypt

On October 2nd, we had an opportunity to speak with visitors from Egypt about Greater Cincinnati’s successes with energy efficiency and renewable energy.

This was our second presentation to international visitors as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Leadership Program hosted locally by the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council.

Andy Holzhauser, our CEO, and Chris Meyer, our Energy Program Director, spoke about how energy efficiency and renewable energy can be a tool for transformative economic development. Andy and Chris also presented an overview of the Energy Alliance, our programs, and our impact on the region.

An impromptu tour of the basement

“We got to talking about variable frequency motors and most of them had never seen one before. They have them in their country, but they don’t use them. So I said, we have some in the basement, why don’t we go take a look?”
– Chris Meyer

A basement tour isn’t usually a part of the itinerary for our guests, but the day unexpectedly concluded in the Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) basement to look at the energy efficient variable frequency drives on the HVAC equipment.

Older HVAC motors operate at two speeds, either full on or full off. Newer variable frequency drives offer improved efficiency by attaching a computer ‘brain’ to the motor that allows it to vary its output to the amount of torque required. These drives usually pay for themselves through energy savings after just a few years. Since the group consisted mostly of engineers, they were interested to see a variable frequency drive in action.


The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council and The International Visitor Leadership Program

The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (GCWAC) is an organization whose mission is to be the “leader in preparing the region and its citizens, individually and collectively, to thrive in the 21st century global environment by promoting international understanding, education, engagement, and cooperation.” GCWAC is the local host organization for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

The IVLP was developed to help “current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.” An overview of its 75-year history is summarized in this YouTube video:


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1 reply
  1. Michelle Harpenau
    Michelle Harpenau says:

    Thank you for hosting the group from Egypt and meeting to discuss energy efficiency! I love hearing about this impromptu stop and establishing significant connections with people within your same type of work all over the world. Always a pleasure to work with you and I look forward to doing more!

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