Avista’s Small Business Lighting Program is in Full Bloom at Ritters Nursery

For more than 75 years, Ritters has been a household name in the Inland Northwest.

First founded by the Ritter family, the small flower shop has blossomed over the years into an extensive Spokane nursery and garden center.

In 2008, Ginger Wyman purchased the business.

She was a registered nurse at the time and had recently lost three family members, including her mother. She needed the healing the world of plants can bring and realized this was an opportunity that would allow her to continue helping others heal, too.

She’s continued the tradition of keeping Ritters family owned and operated.

“I wanted my daughters to be involved in the business,” said Ginger. “To understand what it meant to belong to a community and learn to work as a team.”

Her brother Bill, his wife Denise and their three sons are also involved.

“Ginger thought it would be something we could do as a family,” said Ritter’s General Manager, Denise. “No one knew anything about the nursery business when we started, but we learned quickly and figured it out.”

Ginger focuses on growing her employees while supporting local businesses and various nonprofits.

“I want to give back to the community in ways I could never accomplish as an individual,” said Ginger. “I want to help my employees grow as individuals. As a community member, we support local businesses by carrying local, family-owned business product lines. We source most plant material we don’t grow ourselves from Washington and Oregon.”

Over the last 16 years, the family has made several changes to the iconic Spokane business. They closed the floral shop in 2020, prompted by the pandemic. The company focuses on selling environmentally friendly products, utilizing environmentally friendly growing practices, and offering high-quality products, including an eclectic array of gift items. Ginger introduced unique pottery, sculpture and outdoor fountains. She’s added an online store, interactive and informative social media platforms and customer classes.

One recent change significantly improved their facility’s interior ambiance and energy efficiency. Ritters utilized Avista’s Small Business Direct-Install Lighting Program to upgrade all the lighting throughout its three-acre property.

“It looks nice,” said Denise. “Avista did a great job. Our customers have noticed the change and have complimented us on the lights.”

Ritters upgraded eight structures on the property with new interior and exterior lighting. Best of all, the program covered the entire project cost, making the over $107,000 upgrade free for Ritters.

“We did a full retrofit of Ritter’s lighting,” said Rachelle Humphrey, Avista Senior Program Manager. “We changed out over 250 fluorescent lights to LEDs, which use significantly less wattage and are much more energy efficient.”

Saving energy is a good investment for businesses like Ritters and for Avista.

“Energy costs are tied to energy usage. It’s why Avista offers programs like this to help make energy saving projects more affordable and attainable for our customers,” said Rachelle.

Using less energy isn’t just good for operating budgets, though. It’s also good for the environment and supports a more sustainable energy future.

“Energy efficiency is really a win-win for all of us,” said Rachelle.

Small business customers on Avista rate schedules 11 or 12 in Washington and Idaho can qualify for this program. The process is simple. Participants receive an initial assessment from a trained and vetted vendor who provides Avista with an estimate outlining the project costs and energy-savings potential. After that, projects can begin.

“We aim to cover 100% of these lighting project costs,” said Rachelle. “Sometimes, if major upgrades or wiring are needed beforehand, customers may incur some costs, but typically the amount is minimal.”

If your small business could benefit from new energy efficient lighting, sign up now for Avista’s Small Business Direct Install Lighting Program at www.myavista.com/smallbizlighting.

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  2. Energy Saving
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