In Gothenburg a large amount of waste heat, from both waste incineration and industries, is used in the district heating system. There is also heat pumps taking care of the heat in sewage and plants using bio fuels such as wood pellets, wood chips and bio oil. There is also a district cooling system in the city using free cooling from the river and absorption chillers which uses waste heat during the summer.​

District heating was started in Gothenburg in 1953 with the opening of the Sävenäs combined heat and power plant, delivering district heating to the Kortedala district. The second plant was opened the following year in Rosenlund. Both facilities continue to be essential to Gothenburg’s district heating network. Behind the initiation of district heating was the desire to provide the residents of Gothenburg with a safe, reliable heat supply. Gothenburg was simultaneously able to supply electric power to the energy-intensive manufacturing industry. Through this effort, the city was able to reduce individualised heating of apartments and replace inefficient and polluting coal-fired condensing production. The city’s waste incinerator plant in Sävenäs began delivering waste heat to the district heating network in 1972.​