Embodied energy is the sum of all the energy in the work required to produce any goods or services, considered as if that energy was incorporated or 'embodied' in the product itself.
Embodied energy is an accounting method which aims to find the sum total of the energy necessary for an entire product life-cycle. Determining what constitutes this life-cycle includes assessing the relevance and extent of energy into raw material extraction, transport, manufacture, assembly, installation, waste disposal or (disassembly, deconstruction and/or decomposition, as well as human and secondary resources. Different methodologies produce different understandings of the scale and scope of application and the type of energy embodied.
One fundamental purpose for measuring this quantity is to compare the amount of energy produced or saved by the product in question to the amount of energy consumed in producing it.
Different methodologies produce different understandings of the scale and scope of application and the type of energy embodied. Some methodologies are interested in accounting for the energy embodied in terms of oil, carbon, water, ecosystem diversity, that support economic processes.
Embodied energy of transportation is related to carbon emissions. The concept can be useful in determining the effectiveness of energy-producing or energy-saving devices, or the "real" replacement costs.