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Data gathering is a common but critical operation in many applications of wireless sensor networks. Innovative techniques that improve energy efficiency to prolong the network lifetime are highly required. Clustering is an effective topology control approach in wireless sensor networks, which can increase network scalability and lifetime. In this paper, we propose a novel clustering schema EECS for wireless sensor networks, which better suits the periodical data gathering applications. Our approach elects cluster heads with more residual energy through local radio communication while achieving well cluster head distribution; further more it introduces a novel method to balance the load among the cluster heads. Simulation results show that EECS outperforms LEACH significantly with prolonging the network lifetime over 35%.