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SOL VISTA is Montgomery County's incubator company of the year; competes at state

SOL VISTA, a green data analytics platform for commercial building owners, was just tapped as Montgomery County's 2013 incubator company of the year, rising above more than a hundred other companies to take the honor. Zack Moore, cofounder of SOL VISTA, says that the company is traveling to Baltimore this weekend for the state-wide competition.
According to Moore, the company, which focuses most of its data analytics on the hospitality industry, has seen a 95 percent increase in its subscriber base in the first quarter of this year. "We're a low-cost, subscription-based model," Moore explains. "We charge $200 per month for analytics, versus the $1 million companies spend per year on utilities. I am continually shocked by how backward real estate is in terms of technology and having their information accessible. People are buying and selling buildings all the time, and for business owners, aggregating [the data] is a logistical nightmare."
SOL VISTA analyzes an owner's entire portfolio and explains how the owner can save money. The platform looks at utilities, but it also looks into the laundry room, the kitchen and other areas to reduce operating costs. If a client owns a single building, Moore says, that's not a problem for most data firms. But if a client owns a hundred buildings, obtaining and aggregating that data becomes challenging.
"We reducing operating costs, utility spending and cost per room sold for hospitality clients," Moore explains. "Tons of green building companies talk efficiency. Real estate owners don't care about that stuff. We've saved our clients $2 million per year. We sell the dollar savings, and we help the owner market the savings."
One of SOL VISTA's local clients is the Hotel Monaco D.C. Moore says that when SOL VISTA identified the upscale luxury hotel's energy drains and helped overcome them, the hotel saved "48 percent year over year and won the D.C. Mayor's 2012 sustainability award."
Moore says that energy procurement was first on the list of changes for Hotel Monaco. "We saved 20 percent immediately by working with the best brokers and suppliers." Additional changes included updating the hotel's HVAC system, replacing incandescent and CFL lighting with LED lights and installing better fixtures and low-flow water devices. 
"The average upscale hotel is equivalent to between 400 and 500 houses in terms of utilities," Moore says. "When you cut 40 percent, that's a lot."
SOL VISTA is still in alpha mode. Moore says that he will open an angel round of funding in the coming months to allow a beta platform to be built. 

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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