Google PowerMeter, an online widget that monitors your home's power usage in real time, is one of those ideas that really should've caught on by now. Well, it's starting to!

Google has announced its first partners for the project, who either do or will provide their customers with the "smart meters" necessary for Google widget to work:

* San Diego Gas & Electric® (California)
* TXU Energy (Texas)
* JEA (Florida)
* Reliance Energy (India)
* Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (Wisconsin)
* White River Valley Electric Cooperative (Missouri)
* Toronto Hydro–Electric System Limited (Canada)
* Glasgow EPB (Kentucky)


With more to follow.
Of course, PowerMeter doesn't provide much information that you couldn't get by just reading your meter every once in a while, but it does present the data in a slick, easy-to-read way that makes the effects of power-saving measures readily apparent. If it takes a Google analytics interface to teach people to teach people to turn off stuff they're not using, that's fine with me. [Google Blog—Thanks, Ben!]