In mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), energy efficiency is as important as general performance measures such as delay or packet delivery ratio since it directly affects the network lifetime. In this article we introduce two different approaches for energy efficient multicast protocols developed for MANETs. The first group of energy efficient multicast protocols is based on the assumption that the transmission power is controllable. Under this assumption, the problem of finding a tree with the least consumed power becomes a conventional optimization problem on a graph where the weighted link cost corresponds to the transmission power required for transmitting a packet between two nodes of the link. The second approach focuses on maximizing sleep mode operation supported by the lower level protocol. A mobile node in tree-based protocols can safely put itself into a low power sleep mode for conserving energy if it is not a designated receiver with the employed broadcast-based mesh protocols. It is shown that mesh-based protocols are more robust to mobility but tree-based protocols may be preferable when energy is a primary concern.