Manufacturing processes are among the most energy intensive on earth. As negative ecological and economic impacts increase, reducing energy consumption is becoming critically important. In this article, a comprehensive overview of energy-saving strategies and opportunities for increasing energy efficiency in manufacturing operations is presented, with a focus on metal cutting processes. The issues and approaches involved in energy efficiency of machine tools and machining operations are reported in the literature and a structured research methodology is proposed for this purpose including prediction and modelling of machine energy consumption, determining the relationship between process energy consumption and process variables for material removal processes and optimization of cutting parameters in order to reduce energy consumption. Numerous techniques for increasing energy efficiency in manufacturing processes are identified and summarized, strengths and weaknesses of previous studies are discussed and potential avenues for future research are suggested.