Changes in energy metabolism may be potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for cancer as they frequently occur within cancer cells. However, basic cancer research has failed to reach a consistent conclusion on the function(s) of mitochondria in energy metabolism. The significance of energy metabolism in the prognosis of ovarian cancer remains unclear; thus, there remains an urgent need to systematically analyze the characteristics and clinical value of energy metabolism in ovarian cancer. Based on gene expression patterns, the present study aimed to analyze energy metabolism‑associated characteristics to evaluate the prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer. A total of 39 energy metabolism‑related genes significantly associated with prognosis were obtained, and three molecular subtypes were identified by nonnegative matrix factorization clustering, among which the C1 subtype was associated with poor clinical outcomes of ovarian cancer. The immune response was enhanced in the tumor microenvironment. A total of 888 differentially expressed genes were identified in C1 compared with the other subtypes, and the results of the pathway enrichment analysis demonstrated that they were enriched in the ‘PI3K‑Akt signaling pathway’, ‘cAMP signaling pathway’, ‘ECM‑receptor interaction’ and other pathways associated with the development and progression of tumors. Finally, eight characteristic genes (tolloid‑like 1 gene, type XVI collagen, prostaglandin F2α, cartilage intermediate layer protein 2, kinesin family member 26b, interferon inducible protein 27, growth arrest‑specific gene 1 and chemokine receptor 7) were obtained through LASSO feature selection; and a number of them have been demonstrated to be associated with ovarian cancer progression. In addition, Cox regression analysis was performed to establish an 8‑gene signature, which was determined to be an independent prognostic factor for patients with ovarian cancer and could stratify sample risk in the training, test and external validation datasets (P<0.01; AUC >0.8). Gene Set Enrichment Analysis results revealed that the 8‑gene signature was involved in important biological processes and pathways of ovarian cancer. In conclusion, the present study established an 8‑gene signature associated with metabolic genes, which may provide new insights into the effects of energy metabolism on ovarian cancer. The 8‑gene signature may serve as an independent prognostic factor for ovarian cancer patients.