Google announced its first partnership with eight utility companies in the United States, India and Canada, to introduce its Power Meter to monitor household electricity usage.

The companies are San Diego Gas & Electric, TXU Energy, JEA, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, White River Valley Electric Cooperative, Glasgow and EPB in the United States. Reliance Energy in India and Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited in Canada were also included.

For now, Google PowerMeter is only available to a limited group of customers, but we plan to expand our roll out later this year, said Ed Lu, from Google's Engineering team in a blog post yesterday.

In addition, Google said it will partner with software maker Itron Inc to integrate the software. Itron is one of the world's largest meter and data management companies.

The Power Meter relies on smart meters as a data source, therefore Google's first target were utilities which are installing or have already installed smart meters in their customers’ homes.

The software allows customers access to detailed information on their personal electricity consumption and it is estimated that monitoring energy usage can result in 5 to 15 percent of energy savings for them per month, according to a University of Oxford study cited by Google.