Clustering provides an effective method for extending the lifetime of a wireless sensor network. Current clustering methods selecting cluster heads with more residual energy, and rotating cluster heads periodically to distribute the energy consumption among nodes in each cluster. However, they rarely consider the hot spot problem in multi hop sensor networks. When cluster heads forward their data to the base station, the cluster heads closer to the base station are heavily burdened with traffic and tend to die much faster. To mitigate the hot spot problem, we propose a Novel Energy Efficient Unequal Clustering Routing (NEEUC) protocol. It uses residual energy and groups the nodes into clusters of unequal layers.