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The network lifetime is a key design factor of mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs). To prolong the lifetime of MANETs, one is forced to attain the tradeoff of minimizing the energy consumption and load balancing. In MANETs, energy waste resulting from retransmission due to high frame error rate (FER) of wireless channel is significant. In this paper, we propose a novel protocol termed error-aware candidate set routing protocol (ECSRP). ECSRP chooses a route in a candidate subset in the route cache in which all the nodes have enough residual battery power. This approach avoids overusing certain routes. If multiple routes exist in the candidate set, ECSRP employs a metric achieving the tradeoff between energy-efficiency and load balancing to select the optimal route. It also takes channel condition into consideration by incorporating packet loss probability in the computation of energy consumption. This helps to reduce the number of retransmissions and save energy. We evaluate the performance of ECSRP under the Gilbert error model. Simulation results demonstrate that ECSRP outperforms the representative protocol conditional min-max battery cost routing (CMMBCR) protocol in terms of total energy consumption and load balancing.