TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A utility in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula is taking part in a pilot program to help low-income customers cut their power bills through renewable energy and energy waste reduction efforts.

Officials say Cherryland Electric Cooperative expects to help lower energy bills for 50 low-income households in the utility’s six-county electric service territory. It’s part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator program.

Cherryland helped identify households that did weatherization upgrades and completed a home energy assessment. Each participant gets shares in the Spartan Solar community solar array in Cadillac and will get a credit on their bills totaling about $350 per year.

The Michigan Agency for Energy provided an $80,000 grant to help support the project and has posted more details on its website .