Energy restriction (ER) has anti-ageing effects and probably protects from a range of chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Specifically, ER has a positive impact on experimental kidney ageing, CKD (diabetic nephropathy, polycystic kidney disease) and acute kidney injury (nephrotoxic, ischaemia-reperfusion injury) through such mechanisms as increased autophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis and DNA repair, and decreased inflammation and oxidative stress. Key molecules contributing to ER-mediated kidney protection include adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, sirtuin-1 and PPAR-gamma coactivator 1 alpha. However, CKD is a complex condition, and ER may potentially worsen CKD complications such as protein-energy wasting, bone-mineral disorders and impaired wound healing. ER mimetics are drugs, such as metformin and Na-glucose co-transporter-2 which mimic the action of ER. This review aims to provide comprehensive data regarding the effect of ER on CKD progression and outcomes.