The scheduling of both absorption cycle and vapour compression cycle chillers in trigeneration plants is investigated in this work. Many trigeneration plants use absorption cycle chillers only but there are potential performance advantages to be gained by using a combination of absorption and compression chillers especially in situations where the building electrical demand to be met by the combined heat and power (CHP) plant is variable. Simulation models of both types of chillers are developed together with a simple model of a variable-capacity CHP engine developed by curve-fitting to supplier’s data. The models are linked to form an optimisation problem in which the contribution of both chiller types is determined at a maximum value of operating cost (or carbon emission) saving. Results show that an optimum operating condition arises at moderately high air conditioning demands and moderately low power demand when the air conditioning demand is shared between both chillers, all recovered heat is utilised, and the contribution arising from the compression chiller results in an increase in CHP power generation and, hence, engine efficiency.