Energy planning—approached as a multi-year, continuous improvement process, not as a single product—can be one important tool to enable local governments and communities to develop a sustained commitment to nascent energy efficiency efforts. With the expiration of many federal funds for local energy efforts, local energy planning activities take on increased importance. Many communities who previously had little or no experience with systematic approaches to energy efficiency have now developed first-hand knowledge of the benefits, expertise in deployment, and interest in continuing their efforts. Planning can help to identify mechanisms through which adoption of energy efficiency technologies and practices can be sustained and systematically integrated into existing activities. These mechanisms may include policies, programs, outreach, funding sources, and adjustments to existing practices. Perhaps most importantly, planning efforts endeavor to cultivate a shared long-term vision to focus efforts, increase collaboration, and sustain momentum toward specific goals, thereby leading to long-term energy savings.