This paper critically reviews existing energy demand forecasting methodologies highlighting the methodological diversities and developments over the past four decades in order to investigate whether the existing energy demand models are appropriate for capturing the specific features of developing countries. The study finds that two types of approaches, econometric and end-use accounting, are commonly used in the existing energy demand models. Although energy demand models have greatly evolved since the early seventies, key issues such as the poor-rich and urban-rural divides, traditional energy resources and differentiation between commercial and non-commercial energy commodities are often poorly reflected in these models. While the end-use energy accounting models with detailed sectoral representations produce more realistic projections as compared to the econometric models, they still suffer from huge data deficiencies especially in developing countries. Development and maintenance of more detailed energy databases, further development of models to better reflect developing country context and institutionalizing the modelling capacity in developing countries are the key requirements for energy demand modelling to deliver richer and more reliable input to policy formulation in developing countries. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.