In this paper we analyse to what extent benchmarking is a valuable tool in strategic energy policy analysis. First, the theory on benchmarking is concisely presented, e.g., by discussing the benchmark wheel and the benchmark path. Next, some results of surveys among business firms are presented. To offer a more detailed analysis of the scope and potential of benchmarking, results are presented from a pilot study in the energy distribution sector. The paper is concluded by identifying key success factors for a benchmarking project and by drawing conclusions on the value of benchmarking as management tool.