Gavleborg is a sparse forestry region with many smaller urban areas and composed of totally ten municipalities. Situated just below the geometric center of Sweden (see Fig. 8.1), the mean annual outdoor temperature is approximately 4 °C, occasionally plummeting to -30 °C. Global solar radiation is 950-1000 kWh/(m2 year), mainly concentrated to the non-heating season (Hydrological Institute 2014).
Unemployment is the highest in the country. Also, there are substantially more persons leaving (retiring) than entering the workforce. Only three of the ten municipalities do not have a decreasing population (Akander et al. 2012).
Among the total of 140,000 dwellings, 65,800 are apartments in multifamily buildings. Three municipalities have excess housing; two have a lack and the rest have a balanced housing situation (Akander et al. 2012). Energy for space and DWH heating of multifamily buildings in the region is supplied with the following shares: District heating 92 %, resistive electricity and heat pumps 2 %, others (biofuels and combinations of the above) 5 % and oil 1 %, respectively (Akander et al. 2012).