New and alternative plant ingredients are increasingly incorporated in fish feed due to the scarcity of captured fish and increased fishmeal and fish oil prices. As a result, current fish feeds are characterized by a highly variable ingredients composition, leading to a similar variability in the dietary macronutrients composition, especially the carbohydrates fraction. Appropriate formulation of the energy component in fish feeds requires information on nutrient digestibility, energy requirements for maintenance, and the efficiency of utilization of digestible energy for growth (kgDE). In fish feed formulation, the energy evaluation is based on digestible energy (DE) basis. The main assumptions of this DE system are that maintenance requirements and kgDE are independent of dietary factors. The main objective of this thesis was to evaluate and improve the DE system for Nile tilapia. Data showed that, opposite to what is assumed in literature and irrespective of the feeding level applied, an optimal digestible protein to digestible energy ratio (DP/DE) for young Nile tilapia could not be detected. In addition, it was expected that Nile tilapia would show a maximal protein deposition in relation to a wide range of DP/DE ratios, however, this was either observed. Further investigations showed that different body compartments/organs responded differently in terms of protein and fat composition as a result of changes in the dietary DP/DE ratio. In tilapia, viscera and the “rest” fraction (head, skin, fins and bones) were the main site for fat retention. In addition, protein content of fillets seems to be constant (about 17%) and not affected by dietary factors in Nile tilapia. In addition, the effect of using new plant ingredients in Nile tilapia diets was also investigated. The results showed that the ingredients composition had an effect on the maintenance requirements of Nile tilapia. Further, changes in the ratio of starch vs non starch carbohydrates revealed that energy retention was lower when more dietary fibers were included. In addition, the net energy retention differed also when the levels of digestible protein, fat and carbohydrates changed in the diets. The latter results proved that kgDE was not constant and was dependent on diet composition. All aforementioned results led us to calculate the energetic efficiencies of digestible protein, fat and carbohydrates for net energy retention. These estimated efficiencies were used to propose a net energy evaluation system being feasible for Nile tilapia.