State energy plans and the planning process overall help to guide and build consensus among stakeholders in moving toward a shared goal of meeting future energy needs in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. A well-constructed state energy plan provides an assessment of current and future energy supply and demand, examines existing energy policies, and identifies emerging energy challenges and opportunities.
In 2018, NASEO released "NASEO's State Energy Planning Guideline: Guidance for States in Developing Comprehensive Energy Plans and Policy Recommendations." The Guidelines build upon an earlier version of the report, as well as research from 2011 that established a baseline of energy planning processes, plan elements, and market implications. The Guidelines provide updated information and best practices to State Energy Directors as they develop data-driven, stakeholder-supported comprehensive state energy plans and policy recommendations on behalf of their Governors and Legislatures.