The Mercury Shopping Centre's energy-generating floor turns footsteps into electricity and earns shoppers exclusive offers
PUBLISHED: 11:33 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:20 15 November 2018
The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.
The Mercury in Romford is installing a environmentally friendly flooring system that transforms footsteps into clean energy, which will help power the shopping centre and earn shoppers exclusive offers and discounts at the centre’s retailers.
The system works by using the weight from each step to power an electromagnetic generator, creating up to five watts of continuous power to light up signs and screens or be stored for later use.
“This is a way of bringing visitors’ environmental impact to the surface and encourage greener living,” said The Mercury’s deputy centre manager Natalie Bays.
“We think that positive change inspires more positive change – hopefully by showcasing that businesses are making a difference, people at home will too.”
McDonald’s Romford is also donating £1 for every 1,000 steps during the week-long launch campaign to children’s charity First Step, which supports families of babies and pre-school children with special needs and disabilities in Havering.
For helping reduce the centre’s electricity bill, The Mercury will save you money on your shopping bill.
The Smart Rewards mobile app, available on Android via Google Play and iOS via the App Store, was introduced back in 2017. By walking on the flooring you gain points that can be redeemed via the app at the various retailers in the shopping centre.
Open the app inside The Mercury and connecting to the centre’s Wi-Fi will pick you up 15 points. 100 points can be redeemed for a free main game at Mecca Bingo, and 400 will get you a VIP game for four people and a free meal.
The flooring installation by London-based technology start-up Pavegen is the first permanent one in Europe, following installations in Washington DC on walkways near the White House, and an airport in Abu Dhabi.
Natalie added: “Havering is one of the fastest growing tech enterprise destinations in London, and so we want to make our own tech improvements and be at the forefront of these developments.”
In recent years The Mercury has lessened its carbon footprint by installing a solar farm on the roofs, switched their lighting to 97 per cent efficient LEDs, and replaced boilers with new energy-saving models.
This year they are on target to send zero waste to landfill, and are looking at improving the green areas surrounding the site.