Similarly, a direct approach to electric potential energy is that a source charge q1 can be said to store electric potential energy EPE on with a separate test charge charge q2.
On the other hand, work is done by charges that are allowed to do what they want to, thus decreasing EPE (and making ∆EPE negative), by letting like-sign charges (positive-positive, or negative-negative) move farther apart from each other (because these charges repel); or letting opposite-sign charges (positive-negative, or negative-positive) move closer to each other (because these charges attract).
(Note that this equation calculates the value of electric potential energy EPE of two charges at a fixed separation distance from each other. In order to find the ∆EPE change in electric potential energy, you would need to calculate the initial EPEi and final EPEf electric potential energies of the two charges at their initial ri and final rf separation distances.)
Note that the direction of electric field lines is indicative of the relative values of the equipotentials: for the positive source charge, each subsequent outer equipotential corresponds to smaller and smaller positive values of potential (due to the r–1 dependence); for the negative source charge, each subsequent inner potential equipotential corresponds to larger and larger negative values of potential. So in either case, electric field lines point towards decreasing electric potential values.
(Notice that coulombs (C) multiplied by volts (V, or J/C) results in units of joules (J). In this sense potential or "voltage" can be said to be "potential" potential energy, that is, a location in space will only have a value for potential (measured in volts, or joules per coulomb), but any test charge q placed at this location in space will then have a value for electric potential energy (measured in joules) given by the product of the potential and amount of charge placed there.)
In any case, as a check the direction of the force on any source charge q should be attractive or repulsive depending on whether it has the opposite or same sign as the source charge Q, and also check that the source charge q moves in the direction that would decrease its electric potential energy. However, positive test charges move in the direction of decreasing potential, while negative test charges move in the direction of increasing potential! (If all this sounds confusing, at least be assured that these rules are consistent.)
What would happen if there was a negative source charge –Q creating a "well?" Then a positive test charge +q snowmobiler, left alone, would slide "downhill," in the direction of decreasing potential and decreasing potential energy (as we have seen before, for a negative charge and positive charge getting closer to each other). Then consider the very odd case of a negative test charge –q snowmobiler sliding on this "well"--we would observe the very odd behavior of this negative snowmobiler sliding "uphill," in the direction in increasing potential--but this would be the direction of decreasing potential energy, as we have seen before, for two negative charges separating from each other. (Video source: "Grazy hill climb crash with go pro cam.")