Three main tools to study graphs mathematically are to make use of the vertex degrees, distances and matrices. The classical graph energy was defined by means of the adjacency matrix in 1978 by Gutman and has a large number of applications in chemistry, physics and related areas. As a result of its importance and numerous applications, several modifications of the notion of energy have been introduced since then. Most of them are defined by means of graph matrices constructed by vertex degrees. In this paper we define another type of energy called q-distance energy by means of distances and matrices. We study some fundamental properties and also establish some upper and lower bounds for this new energy type.