Whole-body energy homeostasis is influenced by anabolic and catabolic cellular programs, which depend on environmental and nutritional cues. Adipose tissue plays a predominant role in the physiological regulation of energy balance by either storing or consuming energy through brown adipose tissue thermogenesis. It is however not clearly understood how brown adipose tissue balances catabolic and anabolic states. We show here that the transcription factor YY1 senses energetic state through a post-translational S120 phosphorylation switch. Adrenergic signaling leads to YY1 dephosphorylation which directly activates thermogenesis and a catabolic gene program while its phosphorylation maintains an anabolic program. Mechanistically, YY1 dephosphorylation increases chromatin binding at distal genomic loci respective to the transcription start site but remains constitutively bound to TSS. This mode of transcriptional control influences the activating and repressive function of YY1 and regulates catabolism/anabolism. We show that YY1 interacts with PPP1R3B, a regulatory subunit of the phosphatase PP1 and that in vivo knockdown of PPP1R3B protects against diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Our results uncover a novel transcriptional mechanism of metabolism orchestrated by YY1 phosphorylation switch and identifies PPP1R3B as a regulator of energy balance.