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Energy efficiency is a critical feature to be considered in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). In recent studies, it was revealed that congestion is one of the main factors to provoke energy consumption in constrained environments. To alleviate congestion, several studies have been investigated, but mostly focused on the transport layer. In this paper, we propose a congestion-aware energy-efficient routing protocol in WSNs (CER), which considers the congestion and energy levels of nodes together to increase the network lifetime while maintaining the network throughput. Our experimental results show that there are improvements in the energy consumption, the network lifetime, and throughput as compared to the other energy-aware routing protocols.