Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) consists of battery powered sensor nodes communicating to each other and to the base station (BS) in multi-hop wireless manner. The primary task of WSN is to gather field data and route it to the BS for analysis. They are generally deployed in harsh localities where battery replacement is not possible advocating the need for energy efficient data gathering to elongate network lifetime. In cluster based hierarchical routing protocols (HRP's) the energy intensive task of being a cluster head are performed by a subset of deployed nodes while others are engaged in local communication. The roles of the nodes are interchanged in different rounds for load balancing. In this paper we propose an energy efficient load balanced data gathering protocol coined as RF-LEACH where partitioning is done using rough fuzzy c means (RFCM) and cluster head selection is based on fuzzy logic. Matlab simulation results indicate RF-LEACH performs better than LEACH, Fuzzy LEACH and FCM LEACH in terms of extending network lifetime and throughput in a load balanced way. The results are shown to be statistically significant. © 2016 IEEE.