Distributed energy resources (DERs), which are characterized by small-scale power generation technologies to provide an enhancement of the traditional power system, have been strongly encouraged to be integrated into the smart grid, and numerous trading strategies have recently been proposed to support the energy auction in the emerging smart grid marketing. However, few of them consider the security aspects of energy trading, such as privacy preservation, bid integrity, and pre-filtering ability. In this paper, we propose an efficient searchable encryption scheme for auction (SESA) in emerging smart grid marketing. Specifically, SESA uses a public key encryption with keyword search technique to enable the energy sellers (e.g., DERs) to inquire suitable bids while preserving the privacy of the energy buyers. Additionally, to facilitate the seller to search for detailed information of the bids, we also propose an extension of SESA to support conjunctive keywords search. Security analysis demonstrates that the proposed SESA and its extension can achieve data and keyword privacy, bid integrity and trapdoor unforgeability. Simulation results also show that both SESA and its extension have less computation and communication overhead than the existing searchable encryption approaches. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.