Growing concerns over climate change and grid reliability have led to widespread adoption of energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) programs at utilities. Despite such adoption, numerous questions exist regarding the interactions between EE and DR, including whether EE diminishes a building’s DR potential. In this brief, we empirically examine the impact a building’s EE level (quantified by traditional EE benchmarking metrics) has on its DR capabilities (quantified by a building’s normalized load shed) for 194 K-12 institutional school buildings in California, USA. We found inconclusive statistical evidence that a building’s EE level has an impact on its DR load shed capabilities. We provide initial evidence countering concerns that EE diminishes DR potential and thus pave the path for future work than can further support synergistic EE and DR strategies which can enhance demand-side management programs.