This paper aims to reexamine the causal relationship between energy consumption and economic growth for 20 OECD countries. To that end, we employ a Granger causality test in the frequency domain which allows us to distinguish short (temporary) and long-run (permanent) causality. The empirical results could be summarized as following. First, in terms of causality running from GDP to energy consumption, there is a temporary relationship for Australia, Austria, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, the UK, the USA, and a permanent relationship for Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, and the USA. Second, in terms of causality running from energy consumption to GDP, there is a temporary relationship for Austria, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal, and a permanent relationship for Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Japan, and Portugal. The main implication of our finding is that the energy policies should take into consideration not only the causality direction between economic growth and energy consumption but also whether it is temporal or permanent and furthermore authorities must design policy actions accordingly. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.