Energy efficiency improvement has been a key objective of China’s long-term energy policy. In this paper, we derive single-factor technical energy efficiency (abbreviated as energy efficiency) in China from multi-factor efficiency estimated by means of a translog production function and a stochastic frontier model on the basis of panel data on 29 Chinese provinces over the period 2003–2011. We find that average energy efficiency has been increasing over the research period and that the provinces with the highest energy efficiency are at the east coast and the ones with the lowest in the west, with an intermediate corridor in between. In the analysis of the determinants of energy efficiency by means of a spatial Durbin error model both factors in the own province and in first-order neighboring provinces are considered. Per capita income in the own province has a positive effect. Furthermore, foreign direct investment and population density in the own province and in neighboring provinces have positive effects, whereas the share of state-owned enterprises in Gross Provincial Product in the own province and in neighboring provinces has negative effects. From the analysis it follows that inflow of foreign direct investment and reform of state-owned enterprises are important policy handles.