Minimizing Joule heating remains an important goal in the design of electronic devices. The prevailing model of Joule heating relies on a simple semiclassical picture in which electrons collide with the atoms of a conductor, generating heat locally and only in regions of non-zero current density, and this model has been supported by most experiments. Recently, however, it has been predicted that electric currents in graphene and carbon nanotubes can couple to the vibrational modes of a neighbouring material, heating it remotely. Here, we use in situ electron thermal microscopy to detect the remote Joule heating of a silicon nitride substrate by a single multiwalled carbon nanotube. At least 84% of the electrical power supplied to the nanotube is dissipated directly into the substrate, rather than in the nanotube itself. Although it has different physical origins, this phenomenon is reminiscent of induction heating or microwave dielectric heating. Such an ability to dissipate waste energy remotely could lead to improved thermal management in electronic devices.