Going with a solar panel system does not mean that you will be ripping off your roof. You can always start small by purchasing outdoor lighting that is run off of solar energy. They'll charge up during the day to light all night, with exception of pre-dawn hours during long winter nights.
Heliocol customer Keith Gascoine in Tallebudgera, QLD reviews his happy experience using Heliocol solar pool heating.
Purchase batteries to store excess solar energy. These batteries are similar to rechargeable batteries; however, they use the sun's energy to power up the batteries. This energy can be used in the evenings and at night to help power your appliances, televisions and lighting requirements. These batteries are relatively inexpensive making them a great choice for the beginner.