The 2010 plan to encourage energy efficiency is the government rebate for appliance buyers. The plan lets people swap their old appliances for new energy-efficient models at very low prices.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

State plans vary. For state by state specifics, check out the state-by-state rebate program.

Is it really a deal? It may not be worth replacing appliances that are fewer than seven years old, but older models can represent a real deal. Joe McGuire, president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, says a 20-year-old refrigerator uses three times as much power as a new Energy Star-approved model.

Buy now before it ends. There is only about $300 million available and some states got more money than others. It is expected to run out fast.

Source: The Associated Press, Vinnee Tong (12/30/2009)