What is kinetic pavement?

London-based startup Pavegen has developed a special energy-harvesting tile – made from 95% recycled tyres – that flexes by 5mm when stepped on, resulting in up to 8 watts of kinetic energy over the duration of the footstep. Every step is good for about 3 joules of energy, which could light a LED streetlamp for 30 seconds. Enough tiles and enough footsteps can create enough energy to be stored in batteries, or help power electrical items.

Each tile boasts unique wireless communications technology too. It uses only 1% of its power to transmit data about the number of footfalls and energy generated. This means city officials and business types can see how many people are passing through an area, and then make smart decisions about the way the extra power is used.

Dubbed the ‘world’s first smart street’, the tiles now power London’s Bird Street – aptly providing birdsong by day, and light at night. The paving here sports a new triangular tile, providing 20 times more power than Pavegen’s early versions.

The tech has already appeared at some pretty big events – Pavegen partnered up with Google for Berlin’s 2017 Festival of Lights, creating an installation to convert footsteps into off-grid energy. The effect was a synchronised lighting display across a record-breaking 26-square metres. The footfall lit up 176 light panels embedded in its walls and generated over 100,000 joules of energy within the first 3 days.

And 12 tiles were installed along the walking route to the Olympic Park in 2012. Pavegen estimated over the course of the Games the tiles harvested energy from more than 12m footsteps, generating 72m joules of energy – enough to charge 10,000 mobile phones for an hour! The electricity was put to more communally beneficial use though, powering the lights in nearby West Ham tube station for 5 hours each night.

The tiles were also installed over a 25-metre distance at the start point of the Paris Marathon, as well as other key points en route. During the race, runners and bystanders generated nearly 5 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power a laptop for 52 hours, drive an electric car for 15 miles or light up a village in a developing nation for an entire day.

Ultimately, Pavegen hopes to make the tiles as affordable as regular floor tiles, and see them installed in offices, schools and public spaces around the world. The technology has come under some criticism because, well, it’s not as powerful as conventional electricity sources. The average person will walk 150 million steps in their lifetime, so in theory, that’s only enough to power the average family home for 3 weeks. But...combine all the steps of all the people on the planet, and we’re talking about a serious contribution to sustainable energy.

As natural resources get lower and energy prices get higher, we need all the help we can get. Of course, you can power your own home with 100% renewable electricity – and without installing a kinetic floor – just opt for our Green Energy add-on (no marathon training required).

O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3-5% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.


1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 20/3/2018, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of Simpler tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 20/3/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

OVO Interest Rewards: Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you’re in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply:

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year 2017: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

* EV - Everywhere, full terms and conditions:

* OVO SolarStore (Beta), full terms and conditions:

Pay Monthly unit rates

PAYG unit rates

Read more Read less