The main purpose of this study is to develop a reliable model for predicting the input energy spectra of near-fault ground motions for linear elastic and inelastic systems, and to evaluate the effect of damping and lateral strength on energy dissipation demands. An attenuation model has been developed through one-stage nonlinear regression analysis. Comparative results revealed that near-fault ground motions have significantly larger energy dissipation demands, which are very sensitive to earthquake magnitude and soil type. The effect of damping on elastic and inelastic near-fault input energy spectra is insignificant. Near-fault input energy spectra for inelastic systems is dependent on lateral strength ratio R for short period systems, however, there is almost no dependency on lateral strength for intermediate and long period systems, recalling an equal energy rule. This is a significant advantage for an energy-based design approach.