In order to expand small-scale renewable energy across California, Governor Brown instructed the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to help remove barriers to its development. One such barrier is the patchwork of permitting requirements for small solar installations throughout the state. Solar energy systems have been installed in California for decades, and their technology, as well as the methods to install and maintain them, is well established. As a result, permitting for these small and simple solar projects should be as simple and standardized as possible. This guidebook is designed to help local governments and their permitting agencies improve permitting of small solar energy systems. It is designed to help building owners and solar installers navigate permitting as efficiently as possible. Practices recommended in this guidebook apply to permitting agencies of all sizes and is written for permit applicants with all levels of expertise.