Indirect Energy

IndirectEnergyIndirect energy, also sometimes called ‘embodied’ energy, is energy used to manufacture, deliver or maintain the infrastructure and inputs used by an enterprise. The ‘infrastructure’ might include tools, vehicles, machinery, roads, buildings, sheds and other structures, while the ‘inputs’  might include pesticides, fertilizers and other soil amendments, packaging materials, animal feed, and really any consumable item used by an enterprise that doesn’t count as infrastructure. Indirect energy is made up of the same fuels and electricity that provide direct energy, they just aren’t used directly by the enterprise. Fuels and electricity themselves require energy in their manufacture and distribution, so all have an indirect component associated with their use beyond just the heat liberated upon their use. An enterprise pays the costs of its indirect energy use when it purchases various goods and services, but the costs themselves are not clearly articulated and are instead hidden in the purchase price.