Estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα) is thought to primarily regulate lipid oxidation and control the transcription of genes in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway in skeletal and cardiac muscles. However, its role in white adipose tissue is not well studied. In this study, we aimed to establish a role for ERRα in adipocytes by down-regulating its activity through its inverse agonist XCT-790 in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We found that XCT-790 differentially reduced the expression of ERRα target genes. Specifically, XCT-790 reduced the expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator-1β (PGC-1β), resulting in reductions of mitochondrial biogenesis, adiogenesis and lipogeneis. Through suppressing the expression of another ERRα target gene pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 2 (PDK2), we found that XCT-790 not only enhanced the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA and hyper-activated the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, but also led to higher levels of mitochondrial membrane potential and reactive oxidant species (ROS) production. Additionally, XCT-790 treatment also resulted in enhanced rates of glycolysis and basal glucose uptake. Therefore, ERRα stands at the crossroad of glucose and fatty acid utilization and acts as a homeostatic switch to regulate the flux of TCA cycle, mitochondrial membrane potential and glycolysis to maintain a steady level of ATP production, particularly, when mitochondrial biogenesis is reduced.