Beginning in the summer of 2000, California experienced energy supply problems, sharp increases in electricity and natural gas prices, and isolated blackouts. In response, California's state government implemented an unprecedented energy conservation effort to mitigate projected electricity supply shortages during the summer of 2001. Ultimately, significant electricity demand and consumption reductions were achieved. This paper considers the response of commercial and institutional organizations to the California energy situation and offers a description of three factors that shaped these responses: (1) concern about energy problems; (2) operational conditions; and (3) institutional capacity for action. A matrix of possible combinations of concern, conditions, and capacity offers a heuristic for use in exploring how to best tailor and target policy interventions to the circumstances of particular subgroups of organizations.